Five co-workers bumping their fists.

Choosing the right city for starting a business can be as important as the type of the business itself. Simply put, some cities are more popular with small businesses than others, and in this article, we’ll uncover the best US cities for small businesses.

There are many factors that indicate that the city is good for a small business. Some cities offer business-friendly taxes or other incentives to help businesses survive and succeed. Others may have access to a bigger number of customers and employees. Some of them have great networking resources which leads to greater business opportunities. Then, there are cities that have cultural and lifestyle attractions which are natural accelerators.

We have analyzed many large and small studies and came to the conclusion that these are the best US cities for small businesses. Have in mind that only businesses that have 1 to 49 employees are considered small.

New York City

When you think about New York, you think about the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building. That may lead you to think that New York is focused on big businesses. However, this city is great for small businesses as well. There are over 400,000 small business owners living in the city area, and they are making up 2.3% of the total population of the city. 

There are many support organizations for small businesses in the Big Apple. Starting from the NYC Department of Small Business Services all the way to the SCORE and SBA offices. All of this, with a good startup strategy, makes New York a great city for starting your business. The most popular industries for small businesses in NYC are technology, retail, healthcare, real estate, and food service.

A NYC street.
New York is one of the best US cities for small businesses.

Miami

The city of contrast. It is a huge metropolis which is a heaven for small businesses. You don’t see that every day. There are 134,300 small business owners in Miami, which makes up to 2.20% of the population.

One of the biggest advantages of Miami is its growing population. Florida is the third most populated state and it is still growing with no intention to stop. That makes for a lot of jobs for moving companies like Orange Movers Miami and others. 

There is a portion of I-75 that runs between Miami and Fort Myers. This road, which is popularly called the Alley, enables small business owners, like electricians, IT consultants, landscapers, interior designers and many others, to serve both coasts of Florida. This widens their market and that is the reason why Miami is one of the best US cities for small businesses.

Portland

These days, Portland is best known for its hipster culture. However, it also deserves credit for the number of small businesses that exist there. There are 44,400 small business owners living and running their businesses in the metro area. They make up 1.80% of the city’s total population, which is certainly praise-worthy. Most of the businesses operate in professional, technical, and scientific services.

There is the Portland Business Alliance which offers free small business advice to owners of such businesses, and also offers a small business management scholarship program.

Los Angeles

It is a giant metropolis this one, but nevertheless, small businesses are blooming in Los Angeles. It has 243,000 registered small business owners that are making up to 1.82% of the population in the metro area. Same as in Portland, they are mainly in the professional, scientific, and technical services.

You would think that the city this big wouldn’t bother with small businesses. But despite its size, it offers a wealth of resources aimed directly at the owners of small businesses. For instance, there is the Office of Small Business that is offering small business events, procurement of technical assistance, and reference programs. However, if you decide to start your business here, we recommend researching for ways you can market your startup.

A Los Angeles skyline.
Los Angeles is a metropolis that is good for small businesses.

Denver

If you like adventure, then Denver may be the perfect city to start your small business in. It has 59,000 small business owners registered, and they make up 1.79% of the total population. The most popular industries here are wellness and health, as well as bio-science and energy.

Things that make Denver one of the best US cities for small businesses are great attractions that can interest just about everyone. Things like rock climbing, Denver Botanical Gardens, the Wings Over the Rockies Air, the Space Museum and many others can help you to recruit talent.

San Francisco

The beautiful City by the Bay may be best known for its Victorian architecture, but it is very fond of small businesses as well. Small business entrepreneurs are building companies here a lot. The record of 84,000 small business owners that make up to 1.78% of the region’s population speaks for itself. A large number of small entrepreneurs find themselves in retail, technology, hospitality, beer or wine-making, and tourism industries.

The city of San Francisco offers many resources for the small business community. Probably most notable among them is the Small Business Expo that happens annually since 2008.

A small fair.
Small Business Expo in San Francisco is of great help to small businesses.

Seattle

It probably shouldn’t come as a surprise that Seattle has a lot of support for small businesses, as it is home to the iconic Pike Place Market. There are 66,000 small business entrepreneurs in Seattle, making up 1.75% of the total population of the city. They are mostly in scientific, professional, and technical services.

Seattle is a fast growing city and, consequently, it is home to many small businesses that later became giants. For instance, three friends started a small coffee shop in 1971 across the street from Pike Place Market. They named it Starbucks and it became the largest cafe chain in the world. This makes the importance of designing your personal brand stand out even more, no matter where you decide to start your business.

Salt Lake City

Although it is not a gigantic city, there are 20,000 small business owners here. They make up to 1.7% of the city population and mainly work in marketing, retail, and technical services.

The city succeeds in nurturing smaller companies alongside tech giants. The interesting thing is that the locals aren’t surprised by this and are strongly supporting all of the city’s small businesses.

Boston

Boston is not kidding when it comes to small businesses. There are 81,500 small business owners in the metro area of the city. That is about 1.7% of the population. 

This city, however, is not only one of the best US cities for small businesses. As one of America’s oldest towns, it has a rich, fascinating history. For example, it is home to the first lighthouse in the US and the oldest public park is located in Boston as well.

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