Top 10 American Cities for Small Businesses

Reflective skyscrapers, business office buildings.

The American small business economy has been, albeit slowly, on the rise in the past two months. The National Federation of Independent Business has reported that the Small Business Optimism Index went up in August, and the Labor Department revealed a sizeable growth in the national payrolls.

Small business owners all across the country are trying to capitalize on the favorable economy and expand their enterprises. But many owners don’t realize that, to borrow the famous real-estate phrase, “location, location, location” is very important to small business success.

Here are the top ten friendliest small business cities in the United States.

  • Austin, Texas

In the annual Thumbtack.com Small Business Friendliness Survey, Austin received an “A+” in the categories “Ease of starting a business,” “Training & networking programs,” and, most importantly, “Overall friendliness.” Austin is a small business owner’s ideal location for a number of reasons, from its friendly tax policy (there is no income tax) to its relaxed regulations.

  • Houston, Texas

Just like its neighbor to the East in the Lone Star State, Houston is a very friendly state for small business owners. Earning an “A+” in six of the eleven Thumbtack.com survey categories, Houston’s low level of regulation is attracting small business owners left and right.

  • Richmond, Virginia

Richmond may be the friendliest city for small business startups. The Virginia capital’s economy naturally gives prospective business owners the conditions necessary to thrive and start a healthy, expansive organization.

  • Nashville, Tennessee

While it doesn’t fare so well in the “Training & networking programs” category of the survey, Nashville boasts a high approval rating in all other areas of small business friendliness.

  • Knoxville, Tennessee

Clearly, Southern Hospitality extends its reach to small business owners! Knoxville, like its fellow Tennessee city to the west, excels in all areas, save training and networking.

  • Dallas, Texas

Dallas has a perennial presence amongst the most friendly small business towns. It has only one category (“Ease of hiring”) in which it did not receive at least an “A-” in the 2015 survey.

  • Columbus, Ohio

As one of the few non-southern cities on this list, Columbus is probably the town to watch in the coming years. Its friendliness measure has been rising quickly, and its overall rating climbed from a “B” to an “A-” between 2014 and 2015.

  • San Antonio, Texas

Back again to Texas. San Antonio, like the other Texan cities that are attracting entrepreneurs by the thousands, has laws that make starting and expanding a business quite simple.

  • Manchester, New Hampshire

This is the first time that the small Manchester has gotten any notoriety in the world of small business creation and expansion. But, according to CNN Money, the small business sector in the city is growing rapidly, and owners are really beginning to express their satisfaction.

  • Boulder, Colorado

While it may be a bit pricey to buy property for your business, Boulder is a great home for a prospective tech company.

Where to avoid

Pretty much all of California and New York. The major metropolises in those states almost always rank “C” or lower in small business friendliness surveys.

How else to expand other than by proper location?

While picking the right place to start a business is important, there are other ways to ensure your small business’s growth. Waiting to receive payments for outstanding accounts receivables can greatly impede you and your dreams of expansion. Why wait to collect your money? Whatever it is that your business does, invoice factoring can get you the working capital you need to reach your long-term business goals.

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