Every small city provides unique advantages and unique challenges for starting a business. Lower overhead costs and close relationships with customers may be among one small city’s benefits. The inability to develop a large professional network could be that small city’s challenge.  To find the best small cities in which to start a business, WalletHub’s analysts compared small 1,268 cities (municipalites with a population size between 25,000 and 100,000) across three key factors:

1 | Business Environment
2 | Access to Resources
3 | Business Costs


Top 100 Small Cities to Start a Business

(Notes: Beneath this list, you will find the top 5 rankings of small cities related to several specific attributes. For this ranking, a city’s population refers to one municipality, not the population of a region or a collection of adjacent municipalities. For this ranking, the definition of “small city” is “municipalites with a population size between 25,000 and 100,000.”More information about the research and its methodology can be found at WalletHub.com)

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Most Accessible to Financing

Tie 1 | Muncie, Indiana
Tie 1 | St. Cloud, Minn.
Tie 1 | Pine Bluff, Ark.
Tie 1 | Florence, Ala.
Tie 1 | Walla Walla, Wash.
Tie 1 | Parkersburg, W. Va.

Highest Employee Availability

1 | San Luis, Ariz.
2 | Yuma, Ariz.
3 | Calexico, Calif.
4 | El Centro, Calif.
5 | Clovis, Calif.

Most Educated Workforce

Tie 1 | Bethesda, Md,
Tie 1 | Wellesley, Mass.
3 |  McLean, Va.
4 | Wilmette, Ill.
5 | Princeton, NJ

Lowest Expensive Office Space

1 | Dothan, Ala.
2 | Kentwood, Mich.
3 | Cape Girardeau, Mo.
4 | Raytown, Mo.
5 | Salisbury, Md.

Lowest Median Annual Income

1 | Carbondale, Ill.
2 | East St. Louis, Ill.
3 | Statesboro, Ga.
4 | Youngstown, Oh.
5 | Pullman, Wash.

Longest Average Work Week

1 | Fort Hood, Tex.
2 | Jacksonville, NC
3 | North Chicago, Ill.
4 | Twentynine Palms, Calif.
5 | Hoboken, N.J.

Highest Average Growth in the Number of Small Businesses

1 | Salisbury, Md.
2 | Carbondale, Ill.
3 | New Iberia, La.
Tie 4 | Gulfport, Miss.
Tie 4 | Biloxi, Miss.

Highest Number of Startups Per Capita

Tie 1 | Miami Beach, Fla.
Tie 1 | Davie, Fla.
Tie 1 | Plantation, Fla.
Tie 1 | Sunrise, Fla.
Tie 1 | Boca Raton, Fla.

Highest Average Revenues Per Business

Tie 1 | Baytown, Tex.
Tie 1 | Port Arthur, Tex.
Tie 1 | La Vergne, Tenn.
Tie 1 | Deer Park, Tex.
Tie 1 | Foster City, Calif.
Tie 1 | North Chicago, Ill

Most Industry Variety

1 | Santa Paula, Calif.
2 | Hobbs, N.M.
3 | Burlingame, Calif.
4 | Fitchburg, Wis.
5 | Lakeville, Minn.

The 150-Year History of the Term ‘Small Business’

Until the end of the 19th century, there were few big businesses so the history of the term “small business” is less than 150 years. Today, no other phrase comes close to describing companies up to 500 employees.