New York, NY -
Thanks to continued revitalization across a wide range of industries, New York City is No. 1 on FORTUNE's 12th annual ranking of the Best Cities for Business.
This is the second time in four years the Big Apple has claimed the top spot; it was also No. 1 in 1997. Internationally, London was No. 1 for the third year in a row, with Hong Kong at the top of the list in Asia, and Buenos Aires ranked first in Latin America. The Best Cities for Business ranking is in the November 27 issue of FORTUNE
Rounding out the top 10 cities in North America are San Francisco (No. 2, up from No. 7 in 1999), Chicago (No. 3, up from No. 10 in 1999); Washington D.C. area (No. 4); San Jose (No. 5, down from No. 2 in 1999); Atlanta (No. 6); Boston (No. 7, up from No. 9 in 1999); Los Angeles (No. 8); Dallas (No. 9, down from the No. 1 spot in 1999); and Denver (No. 10, down from No. 8 in 1999).
FORTUNE cites New York City's mythic appeal in many industries as the "center of the universe" and its aggressive courting of new business as reasons for it being the Best City for Business. "Thanks to the Giuliani administration's corporation-friendly tax breaks, existing businesses have stayed in New York City and flourished, and new ones have crowded in -- Webvan and H&M, to name two in the past year," writes FORTUNE's Mark Borden. New York is also attracting businesses whose bottom lines depend on creative capital, Borden notes, including Austrian designer Helmut Lang, who moved his fast-growing fashion enterprise from Vienna to SoHo in 1998, and The Shooting Gallery, a cutting-edge new media operation and independent-film production house. "New York is the realm of the modern world," Lang tells FORTUNE. "It's au courant in a very natural way and keeps you alive and mobile and doesn't let you settle in your achievements -- the energy and the combination of greatness and madness give you a lot of inspiration."
San Francisco (No. 2), boasts more than 1,000 technology companies, and more bars and restaurants per capita than in any other U.S. city. "My business is driven by the young, high-tech work force that logs 60-hour weeks and then parties superhard on the weekends," says San Francisco native Steve Engelbrecht, owner of two hot spots (the Skylark and the Blind Tiger; he will open a third bar in April). "Working and socializing are connected here -- people don't come to San Francisco just to settle down and have a quiet existence."
On the international front, Sydney, Singapore, Auckland and Tokyo round out the top cities for business in Asia. In Europe, London is followed by Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Helsinki and Dublin. San Juan, Mexico City, Sao Paolo, and Santiago complete the rankings of best cities for business in Latin America.
FORTUNE created the list of Best Cities for Business in partnership with the Business Location Practice of Arthur Andersen. To assist FORTUNE in compiling the list, researchers at Arthur Andersen weighed statistical data from dozens of private and public sources, paying critical attention to four criteria -- a city's overall business environment (new business growth, diversity of industries, number of FORTUNE 500 headquarters); the cost of doing business there (tax and fiscal policies, commercial real estate prices); the caliber of the local work force (education level, retention rate, management experience); and quality of life (housing, schools, communities). To add a human element, the Best Cities ranking also includes the opinions of more than 1,400 top-level executives worldwide about where they like to do business.