New York may be the financial capital of the world, and Silicon Valley may be great for tech start-ups, but would you ever consider starting your business in Boise, Idaho or Austin, Texas? It turns out that these cities, and several others you probably haven’t thought of, are ideal hotspots for small businesses because of their entrepreneurial spirit and diverse populations. They may not have the legacy of the Big Apple or the recent magnetism of Silicon Valley, but these cities are just right for small businesses.
1. Austin, Texas
Austin has an entrepreneurial fever like no other. Each year, the city hosts South by Southwest (SXSW), an entrepreneurial festival that focuses on film, music and emerging technology. The technology portion, known as SXSW Interactive includes a trade show and a start-up accelerator. Additionally, Austin’s tax code was rated the friendliest code to small businesses in the country by Thumbtack’s annual small business friendliness survey.
2. Virginia Beach, Virginia
Located on the Atlantic Ocean and a stone’s throw away from the largest naval base in the world, Virginia Beach’s small businesses benefit from a steady stream of customers, thanks to the constant tourist and military traffic that comes through the area. The city is also known for its robust local website. Business owners can download all the forms needed to obtain or renew a business license and calculate the fees and taxes associated with their business from a single part of the website.
3. Raleigh, North Carolina
Together with nearby Durham and Chapel Hill, Raleigh is home to North Carolina’s Research Triangle. The Triangle is anchored by three research universities, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Duke, and North Carolina State, which bring a constant flow of young, ambitious talent to the area. The Research Triangle is known for start-ups and incubators, especially in the fields of health care, technology and pharmaceuticals.
4. Boise, Idaho
Small businesses in Idaho are the most optimistic in the country in terms of economic outlook, according to Thumbtack’s survey. Boise, in particular, was rated the easiest place to start a business, evident by the high concentration of sole proprietorships registered in the city. A surprising 61 percent of Boise’s businesses report having zero employees.
5. Dallas, Texas
Apparently not everything is bigger in Texas. Nearly 80 percent of Dallas’s businesses are categorized as small businesses. Together, these businesses employ nearly 40 percent of the area’s workforce. Small business owners in the Dallas area say that they are able to thrive by providing services to the big businesses that continually move the city.
Small businesses thrive in communities across the country, but these cities make it just a little bit easier to put down roots and compete with the big boxes. Whether it’s their friendly regulations or their unique resources, these cities help small business grow – and they’re more vibrant because of it.