Small businesses have fought to navigate a perfect storm of COVID, inflation, supply shortages, and other challenges in recent years. Many business owners have had no choice but to close up shop during the crisis. Other would-be entrepreneurs stayed on the sidelines waiting for the right opportunity to try their hands at small business ownership.
Whether you are reviving an old business in a new locale or trying your hand at small business ownership for the first time, consider relocating to a place that welcomes and supports new businesses and provides a solid economic foundation for business growth.
The cities in this list have that combination of a growing, active population that can support a business, business-friendly leadership, and economic fundamentals that promote growth.
1. Orlando, FL
Businesses relocate to Florida for business-friendly tax rates and limited regulation. While many major metropolitan areas have high costs of living, Orlando is just below the national average.
Walt Disney World is the jewel in Orlando’s crown, bringing in tourists and entrepreneurs from all over the world. The spirit of entrepreneurship in Orlando supports many other businesses as well. Convenient access to air transportation and major highways makes Orlando a convenient hub for your business operations and gives you great opportunities for networking and expansion.
2. Atlanta, GA
The birthplace of Coca-Cola, Atlanta is a city that has worked over the years to create an attractive environment for entrepreneurs, particularly in its thriving African-American communities. Atlanta has convenient access to cities along the eastern seaboard but without some of the challenges of other major U.S. cities. Crime is low in Atlanta and dropping. Atlanta is very walkable, according to walkscore.com. Atlanta evokes a perfect mix of a dynamic spirit and a quieter, Southern pace of life that helps employees maintain a healthy and productive work-life balance.
3. Miami, FL
Miami, Fl, offers access to the coast, a vibrant, multicultural community, and a government that supports entrepreneurship and business development. Booming tourism, cruise, and hospitality industries drive a robust economy and a resilient populace. Despite the low tax rates, Miami supports world-class hospitals and universities, creating a welcoming environment for entrepreneurs and employees alike. You will have access to an educated workforce and be able to retain them with big-city amenities and a beautiful waterfront.
4. Austin, TX
Austin, TX, is one of many cities in Texas that provide a favorable environment for business growth. Austin’s independent, even eccentric character sets it apart from many other cities. Austin attracts free thinkers, creators, and iconoclasts. If you want your business to blaze a new trail and are looking for employees and investors who share your approach. Austin’s vibrant character is one reason why the city serves as a hub for many nationally known companies such as Dell, Apple, and eBay.
5. Houston, TX
If your business serves a more traditional and conservative clientele, Houston, along with other cities such as Corpus Christi, Lubbock, or Dallas might be ideal sites for your new business. Houston has been a hub for industries from oil to spaceflight. Its people exhibit dynamism and an innovative spirit that is vital to the success of small businesses. Houston continues to attract companies in the healthcare and technology fields, providing opportunities for entrepreneurs who provide a wide range of professional services.
6. Nashville, TN
Nashville has been a longtime home to prominent businesses, from the former National Life and Accident Insurance Company that sponsored the Grand Ole Opry to the present-day consumer insurance giant Asurion. The business-friendly climate and the allure of the Nashville country music scene are key advantages for the city.
Nashville’s culture and creative spirit make Nashville stand out as a business location. Of course, a business needs kindling as well as a spark. Like many thriving Southern cities, Nashville’s growth in conventional fields like technology and healthcare provides a solid economic foundation.
Office spaces in Nashville are relatively affordable at around $34 per square foot per year. For example, if you are renting a 1,000 square foot office in Nashville, that means you’ll likely pay around $2,833 per month.
Tips On Starting A Business In A New City
Consider Nearby Cities
The cities in this list are representative of larger communities and metropolitan areas that include a network of suburbs and small towns. Small towns and suburbs around economic powerhouses often support the economic activity in surrounding areas. Don’t stop your search at the city limits. Outlying areas might have a more stable consumer base, lower tax rates, lower property values, and lower crime rates.
Make Sure To Understand Local Regulations
Local governments can control everything from building permits to the sale of alcohol. Don’t overlook rules and regulations that could trip you up later on. Review your business documents to make sure that you have everything you need in hand before you move.
Know The State Taxes
Many business-friendly cities have low state taxes to attract businesses from out of state. However, others, particularly large metropolitan areas, can impose higher taxes to fund infrastructure that businesses and local professionals depend on. Be sure to update your business model to take into account the new tax structure.
Reach Out To Local Organizations Who Support
The local chamber of commerce or other organizations that liaise with businesses might have additional incentives or support for your business. Look for loans, grants, and networking opportunities before you decide where to move.
Get To Know Your Future Customers And Prospective Employees
You can’t expect to market a product or recruit an employee in San Francisco the same way that you would in Nashville or Salt Lake City. Each of the cities on this list has its unique character and culture. Before you set up shop and take the first steps in finding employees for your business, take some time to familiarize yourself with the local culture, including consumer demographics, employee expectations.
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