Earlier this year, the Kauffman Foundation released their 2017 Kauffman Index of Startup Activity: Metropolitan Area and City Trends report. Inside the document was a peek into startup activity as it followed the rate and opportunity share of new entrepreneurs and startup density. The report also surveyed metro areas with the highest startup activity and those that experienced upward movements in the index’s rankings. Aside from what we learned in the document, we did a little extra digging to find out which cities are making waves in the small business community and what they have to offer entrepreneurs setting up shop there.
- Austin, TX
Talk about staying power! It’s pretty hard to find a listicle on cities to start a business in that doesn’t include a shout out to Austin on it. In the 2017 Startup Activity Index, Austin is one of five metro areas with the highest startup activity.
What is about Austin that makes it such a thriving hub for small business? One word: millennials. As the eighth most popular city with recent college grads, Austin offers its educated workforce tech and music-friendly industries to establish a startup in and a lively nightlife scene for those who work and play hard. Need an added bonus? Austin is also state and corporate income tax-free.
- Miami, FL
Another inclusion in the top five metro areas list is Miami, which leads the pack as the second biggest city in the country for minority entrepreneurs.
Expert Market’s infographic on top cities for minority entrepreneurs revealed that much of Miami’s draw is the city itself. The metro area offers entrepreneurs the ability to launch a business while enjoying an inclusive and affordable lifestyle. Miami also ranks as the 12th best city for economic opportunities for minority entrepreneurs, with 2nd place rankings for startup density and 3rd place in the rate of new entrepreneurs starting businesses.
- Saint Louis, MO
One city that enjoyed the biggest upward movement this year is Saint Louis. It ranks at #7 on WalletHub’s best places to start a business and is the 10th most popular city among college grads due to its low rent and unemployment rates. Even Nate Silver’s blog FiveThirtyEight is going as far as to say STL is “the new startup frontier.”
How so? The Midwestern metropolitan area truly wants to help entrepreneurs succeed and has public and private sectors dedicated to the cause. The creation of the Missouri Technology Corporation, an investment fund that invests in small businesses, has allowed the city and state of Missouri to lead the way when it comes to startup financing initiatives.
- Seattle, WA
Amazon aside (although the company is a big draw), Seattle is growing as an entrepreneurial hub for all ages. Some of its major attractions include embracing startups of all kinds from tech to food and attracting billions in venture funding. And while housing may be a bit pricier, it ranks #6 with recent grads due to offering some of the highest starting salaries in the country at a little over $60k.
- Salt Lake City, UT
Ranked at #2 on WalletHub’s best places to start a business, what’s the draw to Salt Lake City beyond the gorgeous scenery? It’s also a winner with the educated workforce and boasts a low unemployment rate and high economic climate.
Don’t want to go into the skiing business here? That’s more than okay — Salt Lake City is actually turning into quite the tech hub. More than 4,300 tech companies call the metro area home along with craft breweries and restaurants. If your startup is seeking financial assistance, you’re in luck as many angel investors are here to help out. Watch out Austin, it looks like Salt Lake City is catching up to your step!
It can be difficult to know where your best chances of success are in terms of your small business location. The right place needs to see upward movements of your industry’s rankings as well as offering multiple benefits that outweigh the costs of running a business. If you’re looking to expand or open up a small business, check out these five cities. They’re making waves, and so can you!
Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation.com. MyCorporation is a leader in online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, providing start-up bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent, DBA and trademark & copyright filing services. MyCorporation does all the work, making the business formation and maintenance quick and painless, so business owners can focus on what they do best. Follow her on Google+ and on Twitter @mycorporation.
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