The 2011 Inc. 5000: Top Ten States

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10. Massachusetts, 184 companies

Small business represents 85 percent of all companies in Massachusetts. The economic climate was unpredictable in 2009, but the Massachusetts Bankers Association reported that lending to small businesses dropped only about a third as much as the national average. Though Main Street is in disarray, that doesn’t keep people from going out on the town. Massachusetts’ fastest growing small business this year was Big Night Entertainment, which placed at No. 4. The company was founded in 2006 by two seasoned nightclub owners, and has won contracts to open venues at Foxwoods Resort Casino as well as in Boston.