Back to the USA: Rising Stars

The sleeper theme in this country is rural America.

According to Michael Hickey, president of Hickey & Associates, a site selection consultant based in Minneapolis, small towns with a population of around 300,000 (outside the MSA for a city) are attractive for several reasons.

They are sleeper communities because first, they have a very solid work and worth ethic. They also usually have an available labor source. And no matter where you are, they usually have a good community college to help train and develop people in conjunction with the company.

He notes that to attract companies, however, rural areas must have bandwidth. Toward that end, Sen. Norm Coleman of Minnesota has introduced Rural Renaissance, abill in the U.S. Senate to help small town America rebuild its Main Streets and lure companies back.

Hickey’s favorite regions for rural business regeneration are the upper Midwest and Southeast.