Duluth’s secret is out

Duluth gets the cover treatment in the latest The Atlantic as an example of America pulling itself back together.

Writer James Fallows seems surprised to find out that the entrepreneurial environment isn’t limited to San Francisco.

The Duluth area has new firms in aerospace, medical equipment, environmental tech, and other fields.

“Ten years ago there weren’t many start-ups,” Dave Benson told us. “Now it’s buzzing.” If you saw this operation in San Francisco or Seattle, you would think: Of course! Where else could you combine the product-design talent that can appeal to a worldwide market, the emphasis on sustainability that has made the firm a leader in recycling techniques, and the production skills necessary to create a rapidly changing line of items?

But you find it in Duluth—“because we just like the quality of life here,” Dave Benson said. And you find it in Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Greenville, South Carolina; Burlington, Vermont; Louisville, Kentucky; Bend, Oregon; and Davis, California. And in larger but noncoastal cities like Pittsburgh and Columbus, Ohio.

Duluth’s popularity is also due to the fact it’s not Minneapolis, and it’s cheaper to live there.

Sorry, Minneapolis.