The city, or more accurately the Fort Collins-Loveland-Larimer County metropolitan area, is rated the fifth best place in the country for business and careers in the 2014 rankings by business-oriented Forbes magazine.
Last year, Fort Collins was No. 7 on the list.
The magazine noted the access businesses have to Colorado State University and its research facilities as well as the well-educated population as pluses for the area.
It also touted the presence of high-tech firms such as Hewlett-Packard and Intel, cultural resources such as the Lincoln Center, the vibrant local music scene, and — of course — the microbreweries.
Making a best-of list is always a feather in the area’s cap, said David May, president of the Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce. The information can be used to pitch businesses on the benefits of locating here and bringing employment opportunities.
“No company is going to make a decision based on lists, but they can be indicators of good places to consider,” May said. “They will look at these things and then drill into the data.”
Existing companies that are considering expansion also use lists as tools for recruiting top talent, May said.
Forbes rated the 200 largest metro areas in the country on several factors related to jobs, costs, education, income growth and quality of life.
Colorado is well represented on the list, with Denver ranked No. 4. Greeley ranked 20 out of the 100-city list, with Boulder at 23 and Colorado Springs at 29.
Topping the Forbes list was Raleigh, North Carolina, which has lower-than-average business costs, well-respected universities nearby and substantial population growth.
The top 10 places for business and careers in 2014:
• Raleigh, North Carolina
• Des Moines, Iowa
• Provo, Utah
• Fort Collins
• Lincoln, Nebraska
• Oklahoma City
• Salt Lake City
• Nashville, Tennessee
For more information and the methodology used for the rankings, visit: http://www.forbes.com/best-places-for-business/