Several Fox Cities Communities Make Forbes 'Best' List: UPDATED - WBAY

Several Fox Cities Communities Make Forbes 'Best' List: UPDATED

Appleton -

A new Forbes list is out ranking the top small cities for business and careers, and several are located here in Northeast Wisconsin.

Out of nearly 200 cities to choose from, the highest locally ranked city was Appleton coming in at number 50. Oshkosh ranked 59, Sheboygan was 120, and Fond du Lac ranked at 138. 

From large corporations like Gulfstream to small businesses like Crazy Sweet on College Avenue, the Appleton area has attracted a wide variety of businesses over the years.

Larry Burkhardt with the Fox Cities Regional Partnership says, "This community's heritage is one of continuous expansion starting with the paper industry, then moving into food processing, transportation equipments, so absolutely we have room for expansion and we're looking to do just that."

And the latest recognition by Forbes as one of the top small cities for business and careers means the Appleton area can continue to market itself to new companies while having a little extra to brag about.

"As we go out now and talk about the Appleton metropolitan statistical area we can benchmark that against the fact that we have a very strong economy based on manufacturing with a pipeline of new employees coming in, a low crime rate so we have a good story to tell and this only goes to reinforce that story," adds Burkhardt.

It's a story businesses in the area already know and are proud to be a part of. They say Appleton is not only a good place to work but also to live.

"Love Appleton," says Mary Kelley, owner of Crazy Sweet. "Love the hometown feel, but there's a lot to offer here, big city without a lot of big city problems that I've ever noticed."

Forbes put Fargo, North Dakota, in 1st place. La Crosse was the best small Wisconsin city, coming in at #42. Eau Claire, Janesville, Racine and Wausau also ranked.

Forbes ranked small cities with metro populations under 260,000 on factors including jobs, cost of living, quality of life and education.

The complete rankings can be found at
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