Small business owners often think they have the most chance of making it in larger cities. The idea is that these metropolitan spaces typically offer the most resources. However, that is no longer the case. Many cities outside of big hubs like Los Angeles, New York City, and Chicago provide significant financial and growth support. This support includes funding, a low tax rate, and affordable housing and living. Plus, they deliver a good quality of life and other incentives.Here are some of the best small, medium, and large cities for small business owners:
According to WalletHub's criteria, Holland, Michigan topped the rankings for the best small town for small business owners. The benefits of running a business are lower business costs and easy access to a qualified workforce. Also, it's close to large cities like Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo, which is home to Western Michigan University. Other factors WalletHub noted are more affordable office space, higher education levels, and numerous business startup assistance programs.
ValuePenguin gauged 200 cities on their ability to provide the right environment for small business owners. Boulder came out on top. The reasons included an unemployment rate below 3%. Additionally, it has a lower cost of living, comfortable tax environment, and a higher median income. The state also provides numerous loans and incentives to start a business. These include funding options and other types of financial assistance a small business owner needs.
Considered one of the larger cities on the list due to population, Houston has advantages for all entrepreneurs and small business owners. Texas does not collect personal property taxes or corporate income taxes. The city has a business-friendly tax structure that makes it much more affordable to launch and grow a startup or small business. Other incentives include enterprise zones and a strong educational hub that includes University of Houston’s Small Business Development Center. Numerous industries are already thriving there, making it feasible for small business owners in various segments.
St. Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota
Along with St. Paul, Minneapolis offers an ideal set of demographics for small business owners. This includes population age, education, and overall affordability, inexpensive cost of living, and diverse cultural environment. However, the area really stands out for being one of the cities in the country with the greatest start-up growth. Plus, both cities offer tech paychecks that are nearly twice as much as the average state wage. This provides a higher level of opportunity to generate wealth at a faster rate for small business owners.
Included in this area for small business owners are suburbs of Phoenix, such as Mesa and Glendale. The Phoenix area ranks high in terms of opportunities for entrepreneurs and the rate of new business owners produced each month. Some of the best points for small business owners include low tax basis, high funding and incentive programs, lower cost of living, and accessibility to resources. Also, Phoenix is fast-becoming a hub for new tech startups.
San Diego, California
San Diego is expanding its city and county programs to attract more startups and small business owners, offering tech and industrial corridors in places like Carlsbad and San Marcos. With numerous universities and research centers like UCSD in La Jolla and Cal State University, San Marcos, the area offers strong educational and accelerator programs. Although the cost of living is somewhat higher, it is not as expensive as the cities around Silicon Valley and Los Angeles. Also, the city of San Diego has numerous bonds, loans, and advocacy programs to fuel success.
Although there are numerous cities in Florida that are beneficial for small business owners, Miami is starting to climb the ranks as an ideal place to start and operate a company. Miami now has nearly 58,000 small business entrepreneurs just within its city limits. Perks include a beautiful climate, diverse population, and ideal geographic location for international business access. Additionally, there are business incentives like enterprise zones, low tax basis, and programs to stimulate startup development. Small business owners in a wide range of sectors will feel at home here and find great talent.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Now fully recovering from the economic downturn of 2007-2008, this city is doing better than ever and drawing small business owners at a rapid pace. Although tourism is a huge draw here, the city now has a burgeoning tech corridor along with numerous venture capital and startup funding firms. Throughout the city, there are affordable commercial real estate options and office space. The city of Las Vegas and the state of Nevada also are providing tax credits, local startup and expansion incentives, and other funding and loan opportunities across all types of business segments.
With one of the top populations in the country, this is one of the largest cities for small business owners to seriously consider. Philadelphia has focused on some attractive ways to develop more small business owners. These programs include neighborhood revitalization, educational and financial support, a skilled workforce, and opportunities like the Wharton School of Business’ consulting program. Additionally, the city and state provide loans, grants, and corporate development partnerships.
Charlotte, North Carolina
Charlotte has attracted a rapidly rising population of small business owners and entrepreneurs with incentives that include tax credits, contract projects, financial assistance programs, and accelerator programs. It is part of the tech triangle area, so there are numerous venture capital firms and investors, business parks and affordable office space, talent, and more. Plus, the area offers a high quality of life with a high affordability index, excellent education, and great outdoor space between its beaches and mountains.
Time to Move?
There are so many other cities out there that really want to help small business owners. Maybe it's time to seriously consider moving. These small business-friendly cities are ideal for starting a business or growing your existing one.