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Spokane named one of top 50 U.S. cities to start a business in 2020

Spokane also ranked No. 6 for entrepreneurship, No. 14 for population growth and No. 19 for early-stage funding deals.

The Lilac City has earned yet another accolade.

The multimedia company Inc. named Spokane among the best 50 cities in America for starting a business in its 2020 Surge Cities Index.

Spokane came in at No. 31, ranking even higher in specific categories. The city ranked No. 6 for rate of entrepreneurship, No. 14 for population growth and No. 19 for early-stage funding deals.

Boise and Portland were also ranked among the top 50 cities. 

Innovation policy firm Startup Genome, a partner with Inc., used public data and insights from the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies in America to compile the city rankings. Startup Genome developed its scoring system for surge cities based on growth, opportunity and innovation.

Indicators used in the rankings also include early-stage funding and job creation, among others. 

“Logistics and manufacturing companies thrive in Spokane, where costs are low and the Pacific Northwest’s largest cities are all a few hours’ drive away,” the list says of Spokane. 

The rankings also praised Spokane’s affordability, which they say tends to serve as an added bonus for people moving to the area. 

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“What you hear from a lot of people is that places like Seattle and San Francisco are so cool, but the cost of that cool is so much more than they can afford,” Luke Baumgarten, founder of co-working space Fellow Coworking, told Inc. “So they come to Spokane, with its gritty blue-collar vibe and the proximity to nature. They quickly realize it’s a pretty awesome place.”

Gonzaga University’s top-rated business program is also mentioned as a fixture in the Spokane community, while the University of Washington and Washington State “fuel health care and biotech startups.”

An analysis released by the Associated General Contractors of America in July said the Spokane metropolitan area was the third-fastest growing construction job market in the country over a year. 

The metro area added 2,600 new construction jobs between May 2018 and May 2019, an 18% percent increase.

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