Best & Worst Small Cities to Start a Business

26 Apr, 2017

With National Small Business Week approaching, the personal-finance website WalletHub conducted an in-depth analysis of 2017’s best small cities to start a business.

To determine the most business-friendly small markets in the U.S., WalletHub’s analysts compared more than 1,200 small-sized cities across 16 key metrics. The data set ranges from average growth in number of small businesses to investor access to labor costs.

 Top 20 Small Cities to Start a Business:              

  1. Holland, MI
  2. Carbondale, IL
  3. Springville, UT
  4. East Chicago, IN
  5. Jefferson City, MO
  6. Wilson, NC
  7. Enid, OK
  8. Rio Rancho, NM
  9. Clearfield, UT
  10. Cheyenne, WY
  11. Irondequoit, NY
  12. Hobbs, NM
  13. La Vergne, TN
  14. Tonawanda, NY
  15. North Chicago, IL
  16. Superior, WI
  17. Deer Park, TX
  18. Big Spring, TX
  19. Maryland Heights, MO
  20. Grand Island, NE

Best vs. Worst

  • Bend and Redmond, Ore., have the highest number of startups per 100,000 residents, 280, which is 9.3 times higher than in Salisbury, Md., the city with the lowest at 30.
  • Wellesley, Mass., has the highest share of the population with at least a bachelor’s degree, 83.4 percent, which is 21.9 times higher than in Wasco, Calif., the city with the lowest at 3.8 percent.
  • Kentwood, Mich., has the most affordable office spaces, at an annual rate of $9.06 per square foot, which is 6.8 times lower than in Mountain View, Calif., the city with the least affordable at an annual rate of $61.85 per square foot.
  • Carbondale, Ill., has the lowest labor costs (median annual income), $17,764, which is 10.5 times lower than in McLean, Va., the city with the highest at $186,962.
  • Pharr, Texas, has the lowest cost-of-living index, 70, which is 3.2 times lower than in Palo Alto, Calif., the city with the highest at 222.
  • Fort Hood, Texas, has the longest work week, 49.1 hours on average, which is 1.7 times longer than in East Lansing, Mich., the city with the shortest at an average of 28.2 hours.

To view the full report visit:

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