The top entrepreneurial small city in the U.S. in 2003 is…
Fairfield is the 2003 winner of the Grassroots Entrepreneurship Award by the National Center for Small Communities. Why? Fairfield businesses have created 2000 jobs in the past 15 years – pretty impressive when your population is just over 9000.
In 1989, the Fairfield Chamber of Commerce sponsored the Fairfield Entrepreneurs Association (FEA) to focus on economic gardening. In a nutshell, the FEA not only “got it”, they ran with it.
What makes Fairfield so attractive to more than 40 fast-growing companies and their entrepreneurial founders?
See tomorrow’s blog to find out.
Image: You can even order the Fairfield artwork here.
Some folks think that it takes critical mass of metropolitan size to get Creative Economy dynamics churning (as per Richard Florida’s theory of regional economic development in “The Rise of the Creative Class”). Fairfield is a shining example of how the creative, entrepreneurial spirit can energize rural and small towns that don’t even hit micropolitan status.
As founders of Sohodojo, an independent non-profit R&D lab supporting solo and family-based entrepreneurs in rural and distressed urban communities, we kept hearing, “You folks need to go to Fairfield. They will understand and support you there.”
Well, we did our week-long due diligence visit wrapping the Fourth of July holiday. What can we say but, “Wow!” Fairfield is so cool, we’re moving ourselves and Sohodojo there by early October.
You don’t have to be conventional Next Big Thing entrepreneurs to find kindred spirits and a supportive community. We found a welcome sign heading into town, done in the style of a movie preview poster, said it all, “Now showing, Fairfield! A cast of 10,000 as themselves. A story about Excellence in Community Living” (Here’s a photo of the sign.)
As we did our homework about Fairfield, we found the public access television station, FPAC9, had a lot of good info and helpful links.
If any of you folks go to Fairfield anytime after early October, please be sure to drop by and visit Sohodojo! :-)
–Sohodojo Jim and Timlynn–
Fairfield has more restaurants, per-capita, than San Francisco.
Jefferson County claims to have the highest percentage organic agricultural acreage in the country.