This week Forbes released its “Best Places in the U.S. for Business,” list, naming the top cities in the U.S. Utah emerged victorious again this year, having three of its cities named in the top 15 for the best places for businesses to establish and run operations.

Forbes took into consideration a number of criteria, including the cost of doing business, job growth, and levels of education.

All of us here at Preferred CFO are grateful to be working in a state with such a thriving business community, and congratulate all of the business and civic leaders that make this a reality.


Provo was the highest ranked city in Utah, coming in at No. 3 on the list, behind Raleigh, NC, and Des Moines, IA. Provo ranked 7th for cost of business, 3rd for job growth, and 36th for education. With $18.5 Billion in gross metro product, Provo’s unemployment is one of the lowest in the nation at 3.5%. In addition, job growth in 2013 was a staggering 5.3%. Anchored by Brigham Young University, the city’s industries are thriving in technology, health care, and education. Some of Provo’s largest companies include Novell, Nu Skin Vivint, and Ancestry.com.

Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City came in 8th on the list with a gross metro product of $73.5 Billion. Unemployment, similar to Provo, is at a low 3.6%, while job growth was a bit slower at 3% in 2013. Salt Lake City ranked 39th in the U.S. for cost of business, 30th for job growth, and 60th for education. Anchored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Salt Lake City’s most concentrated industries are tourism, health care, and transportation.


Ogden rounded out Utah’s top cities at No. 11 in the U.S., ahead of Charlotte, Dallas, and Atlanta. For cost of business, Ogden ranked 4th, 41st for job growth, and 96th for education. Anchored by the Federal Government and Health Care industries, Ogden’s unemployment is also at a low 3.8%. Job Growth was a strong 2.5% in 2013, with a gross metro product of $21 Billion. Major employers in Ogden include the Internal Revenue Service, Marketstar, and numerous companies housed in the 1,000 plus acre business park known as the Business Depot Ogden.