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  • Posted by Michael Cecchini

National Ranking Shines a Bright Light on ABQ’s ‘Cultural and Creative Capital’

Excerpted from Albuquerque Business First

By Maria Gomez – News Intern, Albuquerque Business First

Albuquerque ranked #3 in America's Best Small Cities

Albuquerque is receiving national attention, this time as one of America's Best Cities.

Albuquerque has been ranked No. 3 in a new list of America's Best Small Cities.

America's Best Cities takes into account the opinions of a city's visitors and its residents. The index from global consulting firm Resonance Consultancy ranks the success of a city after analyzing and comparing 28 factors in six categories: place, people, product, prosperity, programming and promotion, according to their website.

The rankings were divided into America's large cities, or populations of more than one million, and America's small cities, or populations from 200,000 to one million, according to their website. (Click to see a slideshow.)

“Rankings such as this one shine a bright light on the unique mix of intellectual, cultural and creative capital we have in our community," said Gary Tonjes, president of Albuquerque Economic Development. "It validates the investments we’re making in our workforce, infrastructure and community assets. Employers are starting to notice, too. They’re hearing more about what’s happening here and communicating an elevated interest in the Albuquerque metro area,” he said.

Based on the six metrics used to rank city performance, Albuquerque scored a 100 on "product." The product category represents a city's key institutions, attractions and infrastructure. Subcategories that were also considered in product are university rankings, airport connectivity, convention center, entertainment and museums.

"It’s always great to see Albuquerque recognized as a leading city. As a [small-sized] city, Albuquerque is friendly and accessible while offering a unique combination of culture, creativity and tech. To continue our growth, we’re focusing efforts to make the most of these qualities so entrepreneurs of all kinds can find success here," said Eric Renz-Whitmore, manager of entrepreneur development for the city of Albuquerque.

The construction of Facebook's Los Lunas data center's six buildings was estimated to bring in $1.5 billion over the next eight years, Tonjes said last year in previous Business First reporting. Facebook continues to bring business and new jobs to Albuquerque, and is partnering with Cultivating Coders to help train people in digital skills in an effort to help close the skills gap.

Albuquerque International Sunport recently saw a 13 percent increase of passengers. There were over 400,000 passengers in April 2018, nearly 60,000 more passengers than in April 2017. Last month the airport completed repairs on its primary runway for $5.3 million, according to previous Business First reporting.

Albuquerque Economic Development (AED) aids in recruiting new businesses to Albuquerque and helping existing businesses expand.

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