best cities

By Rieva Lesonsky


Best Small Cities for Startup—U.S.

There’s no better time than National Small Business Week to think about starting a business. Before you decide what you want to do, you might think about where you want to do it.

If living in a small city is your dream, check out this list from WalletHub of the Best Small Cities to Start a Business. In a comparison of more than 1,200 cities across the country the top 20 cities were:

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

Some highlights:

  • Bend and Redmond, Oregon boast the highest number of startups
  • If you’re concerned about finding educated workers, Wellesley, Massachusetts has the highest share of the population with at least a bachelor’s degree (83.4%) and Carbondale, Illinois has the lowest labor costs (median annual income—$17,764)
  • Kentwood, Michigan has the most affordable office spaces, costing only an annual rate of $9.06 per square foot
  • Pharr, Texas has the lowest cost-of-living

Best Large Cities for Startup—U.S.

If small city living is not for you, WalletHub looked at America’s biggest 150 cities for its best large cities for startups.

1 Oklahoma City, OK 11 Springfield, MO
2 Salt Lake City, UT 12 Raleigh, NC
3 Charlotte, NC 13 Lubbock, TX
4 Tulsa, OK 14 Port St. Lucie, FL
5 Grand Rapids, MI 15 Laredo, TX
6 Durham, NC 16 Lincoln, NE
7 St. Louis, MO 17 Winston-Salem, NC
8 Austin, TX 18 Houston, TX
9 Amarillo, TX 19 Orlando, FL
10 Sioux Falls, SD 20 Fort Worth, TX

Some highlights:

  • Miami boasts the most startups per 100,000 residents
  • If you’re looking for the most educated workers Irvine, California (where I live) has the highest share of college-educated people
  • Toledo, Ohio has the most affordable office space with annual rent of $12 per square foot
  • Detroit has the lowest labor costs with a median annual income of $25,764
  • Brownsville, Texas has the lowest cost-of-living index

Best Cities for Startup—United Kingdom

If you live in—or always dreamed of moving to the United Kingdom and want to start a business Expert Market just released a report ranking the UK’s “smartest cities for startup.” Among the key findings:

  • Edinburgh is the best city overall to launch a start-up
  • Chichester businesses boast the best survival rate in the first five years
  • Norwich is the worst place to launch a new business

The top 10 cites to start are:

  1. Edinburgh
  2. Bristol
  3. London
  4. Liverpool
  5. Brighton
  6. Bradford
  7. Cardiff
  8. Leeds
  9. Leicester
  10. Glasgow

Expert Market says the UK “has become a hotbed for innovation and new business ventures, and its reputation as an enterprise hub is expected to be cemented further in 2017.”

Best Cities for Hispanic Entrepreneurs

WalletHub also took a look at Hispanic-owned businesses in the 150 largest U.S. cities and ranked the Best Cities for Hispanic Entrepreneurs.

1 Laredo, TX 11 Gilbert, AZ
2 El Paso, TX 12 Chesapeake, VA
3 Pembroke Pines, FL 13 San Antonio, TX
4 Corpus Christi, TX 14 Grand Prairie, TX
5 Brownsville, TX 15 Plano, TX
6 Hialeah, FL 16 Lubbock, TX
7 Irvine, CA 17 Sioux Falls, SD
8 Amarillo, TX 18 Tulsa, OK
9 Springfield, MO 19 Miami, FL
10 Oklahoma City, OK 20 Overland Park, KS

Some highlights:

  • Hialeah, Florida has the highest share of Hispanic residents
  • Pittsburgh has the highest share of Hispanics with at least a bachelor’s degree (46.2%)
  • Toledo, Ohio, has the most affordable office spaces, (an annual rate of $11.93 per square foot)
  • Fort Lauderdale has the highest entrepreneurship rate among the Hispanic population

Best Average Credit Scores

LendEDU, using statistics from Experian, ranked the top 500 cities for best average credit scores. If your goal is to operate a local business, being in a city where residents are financially secure might be an advantage. The top 10 cities are:

  1. The Villages, FL
  2. Sun City West, AZ
  3. Green Valley, AZ
  4. Saratoga, CA
  5. Los Altos, CA
  6. Needham, MA
  7. Lexington, MA
  8. Pittsford, NY
  9. Princeton Junction, NJ
  10. Potomac, MD

You can find the whole list here.