Santa Fe charms ‘Forbes’

Santa Fe made two Forbes lists this year. The business magazine ranked the City Different among “America’s prettiest towns” and put the community at No. 23 on its list of “best small places for business and careers.”

While no one is quibbling about the “prettiest” listing, even a Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce staffer laughed about the ranking for business and career prospects. editors said they left the definition of “pretty” up to a group that included Greg Melville and Sarah Tuff Dunn, co-authors of 101 Best Outdoor Towns.

“Pueblo-style architecture and rugged surroundings make Santa Fe unique, homey and immensely inviting,” Melville commented in the announcement last week. The mountains and the local ski area, the many art galleries and its 2005 designation as the United Nation’s first “Creative City,” are all part of Santa Fe’s charm. Among others on the “prettiest” list are Marfa, Texas; Deadwood, S.D.; and Cambria, Calif.

On the “best small places for business and careers” list, Santa Fe ranked eighth out of 184 towns in projected job growth. Forbes looked at the last three years of job growth and predicted Santa Fe’s would rise about 2.6 percent.

In a city struggling with a high high-school dropout rate, Santa Fe ranked 14 on the Forbes list for “educational attainment,” based on the number of people over age 25 who have a bachelor’s degree. Forbes based these numbers in part on the U.S. Census.

Santa Fe ranked toward the bottom for cost of doing business.

Last year, Santa Fe ranked 17th overall on the business and careers list. The city’s median household income was $58,950 then. This year’s median income declined by almost $10,000, according to the Forbes list.

Other information from the Forbes “best” list: Santa Fe has no billionaires. However, Sioux Falls, S.D., which ranked No. 1 on the “best small places for business and careers” list, has one billionaire, Jonathan Nelson, a 53-year-old widower whom a bio says amassed his fortune through leveraged buyouts.

To view the full rankings, go to

BY: Stacie Matlock

Source: Santa Fe New Mexican

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