Four Great Cities for Business Startups
Entrepreneurship is thriving most vibrantly in states and cities conducive to business. The Kaufmann Index identified Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota and Colorado as the states hosting the greatest startup activity in 2015.
These four metro areas also stand out as hotspots for entrepreneurs seeking a new home for their startup.
Austin topped Kaufmann’s metropolitan entrepreneurial index this year, moving up from the number two spot to displace San Jose. The index reflects Austin’s exceptionally high percentage small businesses and number of new entrepreneurs. Austin also ranked in the top five nationally for female business owners and business owners in the 20-34 and 55-64 age brackets.
Austin’s business-friendly climate hosts many leading companies in a wide range of industries, including technology, data center services, digital media, clean energy, life sciences and advanced manufacturing. These industries receive support from a strong infrastructure and a lack of state income taxes.
Entrepreneurs in the area can tap into resources such as the McCombs School of Business and the city’s annual South by Southwest Conference, which helps make Austin an ideal place for networking with potential business partners and venture capital investors. A low cost of living and a highly skilled workforce are a couple other reasons Austin is a great home for entrepreneurs.
NerdWallet has rated Arlington as the best city for young entrepreneurs seeking to start up a business. The ranking took into account a variety of factors, including access to funds, networking and mentoring opportunities, the local economy and the affordability of the cost of living.
Arlington came out on top for its access to businesses in the nearby Washington, D.C. area, its high percentage of educated young people and its nationally leading per capita income. UrbanBound identifies a low unemployment rate, low cost of living and affordable real estate as other reasons Arlington is an up-and-coming city for young entrepreneurs.
Describing Arlington as a middle ground “urban village” between the urban environment of Washington, D.C., and the surrounding suburbs, Livability ranks Arlington among the top 100 places to live, making it a good home for young entrepreneurs.
Manchester, New Hampshire
The 2015 Thumbtack.com Small Business Friendliness Survey polled 18,000 small business owners about which city was the most friendly to businesses, and the top answer was Manchester, New Hampshire. Manchester also came in fifth on Thumbtack’s list of best cities for Millenial entrepreneurs.
Manchester has no income tax or sales tax, earning it Kiplinger’s recognition as the second most tax-friendly city in America after Anchorage. With strong health care, tech and light manufacturing industries, several developing business parks and easy access to nearby Boston businesses and capital, Manchester has been named 13th among the top 100 places to live and launch a business by CNN.Money.com.
While Austin typically ranks high nationally among the best places to start a business, NerdWallet’s analysis identifies Houston and the surrounding area as the best place to start a business in Texas. Home to NASA’s Johnson Space Center and long at the forefront of the aerospace industry, Houston is also emerging at the cutting edge of life sciences and nanotechnology. Houston Technology Center CEO Walter Ulrich says Houston will soon rival Silicon Valley as a technology center.
CNN Money ranks Houston seventh in the nation among best cities for small businesses due to the city’s business-friendly atmosphere. Goodcall identifies the Houston metropolitan area as the second-best city for black entrepreneurs after the Washington, D.C. and Arlington-Alexandria area.
Entrepreneurs looking for apartments in Houston will be happy to discover that housing costs in Houston are 22 percent less than the national average, and the overall cost of living is 10 percent lower, helping make Houston a great home for startups.