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9. Fort Worth
Population: 595,062
Pros: Business-friendly government
Con: Traffic

Fort Worth is one of the biggest places on our list, and it's getting bigger - the city is the fifth fastest-growing community of more than 100,000 people in the U.S. today. It's also home to large corporations such as Radio Shack and Pier One.

But Fort Worth has room for the little guys, too: The city presents a number of opportunities for small businesses, including an abundance of incentives and a laid-back tax structure. For companies that locate in one of the city's enterprise zones, investing at least $75,000 and creating 10 jobs, the city offers rewards ranging from reduced development fees to waivers on permit fees.

The hottest industry in Fort Worth is the life sciences - combined with Dallas, the region boasts nearly 500 biomedical technology businesses. But tourism is also a thriving sector, thanks to the nearly 10 million visitors that pass through the city annually. Tourists - and residents - enjoy the many rodeos, art galleries, and historical museums in "The City of Cowboys and Culture." -Mina Kimes

Interactive map: Fort Worth
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NEXT: 10. Franklin, Mass.

Last updated July 02 2008: 11:16 AM ET
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