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Wisconsin’s entrepreneurial climate improves

Madison, Wis. — Wisconsin cities are improving as places to grow new businesses, according to a national magazine.

Among small cities, Green Bay is the fifth best "hot spot," while Madison is sixth among mid-sized cities.

The trio of Kenosha-Chicago-Gary ranks 12th among large cities. Milwaukee is 20th.

The rankings are published in October's issue of Entrepreneur magazine.

None of the cities was on the list in 1999, according to Gov. Jim Doyle, who attributed the improvement to measures taken recently to foster entrepreneurial activity.
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The rankings were calculated by the National Policy Research Council, a Washington, D.C. think tank.

Two factors were considered when the rankings were compiled. They include the number of companies that started four to 14 years ago and have at least five employees today; and a measurement of a company's "rapid growth," meaning its absolute and percent change in numbers of workers.

The two were added together to form an overall ranking.

The most obvious trend from the statistics is that population growth leads company formation. "Of the top 10 states, seven are in the Southeast or Southwest. And of the top 10 cities, eight are in the Southeast or Southwest," said Justine Walden, the report's main researcher.

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