New Mexico is enjoying a flurry of startup activity lately.
Small businesses have long been key to the state's well-being. "New Mexico doesn't have a lot of manufacturing or other large industries, so people here have traditionally resorted to starting their own business," said Beverlee McClure, president and CEO of New Mexico's Association of Commerce & Industry.
Many young technology and biotech companies launch their ideas through two federally funded R&D labs here -- Sandia National Laboratories and the Los Alamos National Laboratory. They also find support through incubators based in the University of New Mexico and other schools.
There's more startup capital available in the state since the recession ended, said McClure. And fledgling entrepreneurs can find mentors among a growing community of retired CEOs who have relocated to the state, said McClure.
One downside for startups here: Taxes on property, personal and business income are relatively high.
These metro areas rate highest for ease of starting a business, government support of entrepreneurs, and more, according to a recent Thumbtack survey of more than 8,000 small businesses.