2016’s Best Small Cities to Start a Business


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.

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. Our data set ranges from “average growth in number of small businesses” and “prevalence of investors” to “office-space affordability” and “corporate taxes.”

Top 20 Best Small Cities to Start a Business
1 Holland, MI 11 Enid, OK
2 North Chicago, IL 12 Wilson, NC
3 Brighton, NY 13 Irondequoit, NY
4 Jefferson City, MO 14 East Chicago, IN
5 La Vergne, TN 15 Deer Park, TX
6 Inver Grove Heights, MN 16 Midvale, UT
7 Clearfield, UT 17 Chesterfield, MO
8 Dothan, AL 18 Riviera Beach, FL
9 Cheyenne, WY 19 Maryland Heights, MO
10 Deerfield Beach, FL 20 Rapid City, SD

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.

For the full report and to see where your city ranks, please visit: