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A Review of 2016’s Best Small Cities to Start a Business List

Starting a new business? Location matters.

With National Small Business Week just two weeks away, the personal finance website WalletHub conducted an in-depth analysis of 2016’s Best Small Cities to Start a Business.
"Depending on an entrepreneur’s type of business and personal preferences, a smaller city can be a better option than a large one, WalletHub Analyst Jill Gonzalez told TNJ.com. “Of course, every small city offers unique advantages and disadvantages. Lower overhead costs and stronger relationships with customers are among the benefits. But, there are drawbacks as well. Restrictions might include limited industry options, a less diverse customer base and difficulty recruiting top talent."
To identify the most business-friendly small markets in which to launch a new venture, WalletHub’s analysts compared 1,268 small-sized cities across 15 key metrics. The data set ranges from average growth in number of small businesses and prevalence of investors to office-space affordability and corporate taxes.
Gonzalez says the report also turned up interesting findings about Florida and California. "We were surprised to see that Miami Beach, Florida, has the highest number of
startups per 100,000 residents at 246. Many California cities, however, were toward the bottom of the rankings," she notes.
In addition to listing the best cities, the report also breaks out specific details about several cities. Below is a sampling:
Comparing the Best & Worst
• Miami Beach, Fla., has the highest number of startups per 100,000 residents, 246, which is seven times higher than in Salisbury, Md., the city with the lowest, 35.
• Santa Paula, Calif., has the highest industry variety, which is four times higher than in Suisun City, Calif., the city with the lowest.
• Bethesda, Md., has the highest percentage of the population with at least a bachelor?s degree, 82.2 percent, which is 22 times higher than in Soledad, Calif., and Wasco, Calif., the cities with the lowest, 3.7 percent.
• Mountain View, Calif., has the least affordable office spaces, with a price of $65.87 per sq. ft. per year, which is eight times higher than in Dothan, Ala., and Kentwood, Mich., the cities with the lowest price, $8.76 per sq. ft. per year.
• Carbondale, Ill., has the lowest labor costs, $17,677, which is 11 times lower than in McLean, Va., the city with the highest, $188,639.
• Weslaco, Texas, has the lowest cost-of-living index, which is six times lower than in Beverly Hills, Calif., the city with the highest.
• East Lansing, Mich., has the shortest average work week, 28 hours, which is two times shorter than in Fort Hood, Texas, the city with the longest, 50 hours.
WalletHub’s list of 20 Best Small Cities to Start a Business:
1 Holland, MI

2 North Chicago, IL

3 Brighton, NY

4 Jefferson City, MO

5 La Vergne, TN

6 Inver Grove Heights, MN

7 Clearfield, UT

8 Dothan, AL

9 Cheyenne, WY

10 Deerfield Beach, FL

11 Enid, OK

12 Wilson, NC

13 Irondequoit, NY

14 East Chicago, IN

15 Deer Park, TX

16 Midvale, UT

17 Chesterfield, MO

18 Riviera Beach, FL

19 Maryland Heights, MO

20 Rapid City, SD

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