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5 of the 10 Best Cities to Start a Small Business Are in One U.S. State Wallethub conducted a new study surveying over 1,300 U.S. cities.

By Emily Rella


When it comes to launching a business, certain areas definitely have certain reputations for what businesses will be most successful there, be it the tech industry in the Bay Area, the cannabis industry in Colorado or even the financial industry in New York.

But contrary to popular belief, sometimes smaller cities with smaller populations are more advantageous when it comes to starting a business.

The essence of what makes a small business operate successfully comes down to how well the business owner can not only build a strong relationship with its customers, but how well a business can fit the niche needs of the community.

Of course, this is for businesses set to scale — those looking for an expansive network might have a bit of trouble when they reach a metaphorical glass ceiling in the area where they launch, perhaps running into lack of professional resources and in inability to expand at a rapid pace.

But for those looking to launch their own business somewhere to get off the ground, it looks like heading to Utah might be the best bet.

Wallethub recently conducted a new report that surveyed over 1,300 small cities (between 25,000 and 100,000 residents) in the U.S. across 18 different metrics categorized into three main areas — business environment, access to resources and business costs.

Cities chosen received scores out of 100 points.

The top spot was Washington, Utah, an area in the St George Metropolitan Area which received an overall score of 66.02

The area is known as "Utah's Dixie" after the Mormon pioneers who came and settled in the area to raise cotton and was named after U.S. President George Washington.

The estimated median income of the city was $71,904 as of 2020.

Two of the other top five spots are located in St. George, Utah (second place) and Cedar City, Utah (fourth place.)

Bozeman, Montana (3) and Fort Myers, Florida (5) round out the top five, with the mean score of all five cities coming in hot at a 62.24 total.

Of the 50 states surveyed, only 11 were represented in the top 30, which were Utah, Montana, Florida, North Dakota, North Carolina, Wyoming, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Idaho and Colorado.

Specific metrics were also studied, which notably showed that Isla Vista, California has the lowest labor costs (Parkland, Florida has the highest) and that Fort Hood, Texas has the highest average number of hours in a work week (Blacksburg, Virginia has the shortest.)

Last place overall was given to Cupertino, California which received an overall score of 27.18 out of a possible 100.

Full results can be seen here.

Emily Rella

Entrepreneur Staff

Senior News Writer

Emily Rella is a Senior News Writer at Entrepreneur.com. Previously, she was an editor at Verizon Media. Her coverage spans features, business, lifestyle, tech, entertainment, and lifestyle. She is a 2015 graduate of Boston College and a Ridgefield, CT native. Find her on Twitter at @EmilyKRella.

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