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Lee County Florida – A Great Place for Small Business has ranked the Cape Coral-Fort Myers metropolitan area No. 20 in its list of best places in the United States to launch a small business.

Bizjournals used a six-part formula to analyze the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan areas, noting population growth between 2002 and 2007, employment growth from 2003 to 2008, small-business growth from 2005 to 2006 and small-business population. Bizjournals defines a small business as any private-sector employer with 99 or fewer employees.

Compared to other Florida metropolitan areas Cape Coral-Fort Myers scored behind No. 7 Orlando and No. 12 Miami-Fort Lauderdale, but ahead of No. 25 Jacksonville, No. 43 Palm Bay-Melbourne, No. 44 Bradenton-Sarasota, No. 51 Daytona Beach, No. 53 Tampa-St. Petersburg and No. 81 Lakeland.

The country’s top five rankings went to Raleigh, N.C.; Charlotte, N.C.; Seattle, Wash.; Austin, Texas; and Boise, Idaho.

Cape Coral, the largest city in Southwest Florida, also was ranked No. 1 by INC Magazine in its list of best mid-sized cities for doing business. The Cape Coral Economic Development Office assists existing businesses and recruits new ones, administers incentive programs and conducts global marketing for the city. Visit or call 239-574-0444 or toll-free 866-573-3089.

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