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According to strategic planning consultancy Civic Economics, Corvallis can add another "best of" to its growing list of accolades.

In its recently-published Indie City Index, which lists the best cities in America for independent business, Corvallis came in at No. 20. In a Washington Post article about the study, Corvallis is noted for its custom jewelry stores and local boutiques.

"This whole City of Innovation thing with Corvallis kind of breeds independent business," said Corvallis Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Marcy Eastham.

Corvallis was named the most innovative city in the United States last year by the Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Santa Fe Institute based on the number of patents filed each year and other factors. "Even the people who work for not-independent businesses still have that attitude," Eastham said. "They're committed to the independence that a city like Corvallis breeds."

The study, which was commissioned by the American Booksellers Association as part of an attempt to understand "the economics of local and regional retail" also listed Bend, Medford and Eugene among the top 25 cities for independent business. Other nearby cities in the top 25 include Longview, Bellingham and Mount Vernon, Wash.

In past studies, Civic Economics and the American Booksellers Association have teamed up to compile research that largely proved that independent book and magazine retailers return greater revenue to their communities than corporate retailers.

In pinpointing cities where local business thrives, the Indie City Index "shows where independent retail powerhouses are to be found, providing a baseline for that discussion and a rich trove of data for future research," according to the study's introduciton.

"Obviously we're quite pleased to be on this list, and quite pleased that the list is getting attention from a paper like The Washington Post," said Kate Lindburg, president of the Corvallis Independent Business Alliance. "It's really nice to see that kind of exposure."

Candice Ruud can be reached at 541-758-9542 or candice.ruud@gazette times.com

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