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Making the Grade

Austin tops list of best cities in the country for business, along with San Antonio, Houston and Dallas

Good news for Austin's booming business culture came from Forbes this week. Austin ranks as one of the best cities to do business in 2013.

Based on data from the U.S. Small Business Friendliness Survey, conducted by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Austin was given an A+ by Forbes for "all-around business friendliness." The study asked small business owners to rate cities in four areas: "the ease of starting a business, ease of hiring, regulatory burdens, and available training and networking opportunities for business owners."

According to the findings, Austin's buzzing startup culture add to its A+ rating.

This hip Texas town -- a hotbed of startup activity and home of the SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival, seen above -- got an overall A+ for all-around business friendliness. The worst thing business owners had to say was that zoning rules could be less of a headache -- it only ranked a B+ in that category.

Texas fared extremely well on the list, with Houston and San Antonio also receiving A+ ratings, and Dallas-Fort Worth getting a solid grade A. Altogether, the Lone Star State took four of the top 10 spots in the ranking. The worst cities for business were concentrated in California, with appearances by Honolulu, Cincinnati, Miami and Newark.

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