Chic boutique storefronts and snazzy venture capital-funded startups are synonymous with major metropolitan areas like Silicon Valley and New York City. But actually living in New York on a first-year small business owner’s salary? Forget about it.
After crunching the numbers, many small business owners are flocking to cities like Tulsa, Oklahoma and Austin, Texas. Below are six hot spots that are attractive for launching a small business.
North Carolina has been named one of the country’s most desirable places to start a small business thanks to its labor market and low corporate tax rate of 2.5%.
Raleigh, North Carolina
With a highly educated population and access to quality research facilities, the city is home to some top-level talent. The state’s beautiful beaches, the closest of which is a two-hour drive from Raleigh, are an added bonus.
According to the 2018 Kauffman Indicators of Entrepreneurship, North Carolina has one of the highest startup survival rates, with 81.2% of startups still active after one year. Raleigh, which makes up one-third of North Carolina’s Research Triangle, is considered a bustling epicenter for tech companies.
Besides its stellar barbecue joints, there are a bounty of eager business school graduates — oh, and no state income tax to boot. The city was elected America’s number one “Tech Town” for IT professionals in 2019, and it also took first place nationally for growth of million-dollar businesses.
Austin and Round Rock, Texas
Austin is home to a number of big-name festivals and a diverse arts, music, and culinary community. With a lower cost of living than major hubs on the East and West coasts, Austin has made a name for itself as a small business and startup mecca.
In 2019, Miami was ranked the number one city for small business growth. Known as the ‘Gateway to Latin America’, Miami’s diverse economy and multicultural workforce makes it a hot market for imports and exports, Spanish language media, travel, and tourism.
Miami and Coral Gables, Florida
Miami’s art deco-infused city’s arts scene is booming, as is its population. For a small-town vibe, check out Coral Gables, a nearby town of about 50,000 that boasts a fitting moniker: the City Beautiful.
The city offers support for certain industries; for example, businesses with a sustainability focus in the energy, waste, water or transportation sector may be eligible for free technical support. The town’s startup and small business economy has developed a reputation as one to watch.
Gallup’s Well-Being Index ranked Minnesota as the fourth healthiest state in the nation in 2018, noting that the Minneapolis/St. Paul region in particular was more likely than average to have healthy residents, both physically and mentally. A relatively low cost of living compared to nearby cities like Chicago also makes Minneapolis an attractive locale.
The best US cities
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These 6 cities are attracting
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In 2018, Tulsa made business media headlines when it began offering a select group of remote workers $10,000 to set up shop within its borders. But it’s not just remote employees who should consider making the move to Oklahoma’s second-largest city.
What’s more, small businesses with 90 or fewer employees may be eligible for up to a 5% cash-back incentive if they launch in or expand to Oklahoma. The incentive is available for up to seven years.
A thriving restaurant scene makes the city a perfect place to open a restaurant. The Texas gem has a serious food truck scene, serving everything from pizza to breakfast tacos to smoked meats.
Rents aren’t as affordable here as they are in some of the other cities, but residents save on taxes since Florida has no income tax. Coral Gables has a per capita income that ranks among the highest in the country (i.e. there’s a wealthy consumer base at the ready).
Today, Tulsa is firmly on the map as a town fit for entrepreneurs, with its neighborhood-centric vibe and renowned pioneering spirit. Added bonuses: A low cost of living and a variety of industries — like aerospace and information technology — that are in serious growth mode.
For nature lovers, Colorado is about as ideal as it gets. Entrepreneurs whose small businesses revolve around adventure sports, craft coffee or the CBD market — which was established in Colorado long before it began trending nationally — may want to explore Boulder, Denver’s quirky, outdoorsy cousin.
Many people know the Twin Cities area as a hotbed for corporate behemoths, but there’s a strong small business current running within this Midwestern city. In fact, the area is ranked among the top ten metro areas for profitable small businesses in the US. From socially conscious restaurants to boutique pet groomers, a wide range of small businesses call Minneapolis home.
Wherever you decide to set up shop, Square can help you launch your small business. Streamline tasks like payroll, seamlessly accept credit cards, and set up customer relationship management with Square’s user-friendly point of sale. Learn more about how Square can help your small business make its mark.
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