Best Small Cities to Start a Business

skyline of a small city

Moriah Meyskens, Clinical Professor of Management at the University of San Diego School of Business Administration, joined 26 other professors, business men, and business women to come up with a list of the best and worst small cities to start a business in 2016.

Holland, Michigan took the top spot followed by North Chicago, Illinois, and Brighton, New York.

The list, published by WalletHub, compared 1,268 cities across the U.S. and looked at their business environment, access to resources, and business costs. The primary requirement was that each city had to have between 25,000 to 100,000 residents. Beyond that, the 15 relevant metrics were compiled and weighted about of 100.

The Methodology

The detailed methodology was as follows:

  • Business Environment: Worth 50 points, parameters such as the length of the average work week, number of startups, and industry variety were compared.
  • Access to Resources: Worth 25 points, this essential dimension reviewed metrics such as financing accessibility, prevalence of investors, and workforce educational attainment.
  • Business Costs: Worth 25 points, reviewed metrics such as office-space affordability, median annual income, and cost of living.

About the Study

The truth is that city size matters when launching a startup, and bigger is not always better. WalletHub’s goal was to look at the unique opportunities that every small city offers and to discuss the advantages and disadvantages to potential entrepreneurs. The study looked at topics such as lower overhead costs and stronger relationships but at the cost of a smaller network.

About Moriah Meyskens

Meyskens participated in the study thanks to her insight into what local governments can do to encourage entrepreneurial activity in their cities. Her interests are focused on entrepreneurship, strategy, and international business with a particular focus on social entrepreneurship.

At USD, Meysken teaches on the topics of strategy, entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship, and small business management. She is also the co-faculty advisor for the microfinance club and she actively participates in the Social Innovation Challenge and other entrepreneurship initiatives on campus.


About the Author

Kelly Vo    

Kelly Vo is a writer who specializes in covering MBA programs, digital marketing, and personal development.

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