Six Utah small cities among best to start a business, says report

Local News

(ABC4) – Are you looking to start a business? You don’t have to look much farther than the Beehive State.

A recent survey found six Utah cities were ranked among the top 10 Best Small Cities for Starting a Business with eight more falling in the top 30 – that’s 14 Utah cities in total. Over a dozen more were ranked among the top 100.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, around 100,000 small businesses were forced to shut down permanently, according to Fortune.

WalletHub, which conducted this report, explains that small cities can offer entrepreneurs advantages like lower overhead costs, stronger customer relationships, and the potential to become a big fish in a small pond. But, there can be disadvantages too, like limited industry options, a less diverse customer base, and difficulty attracking and keeping top talent.

To determine the best small towns to start a business, WalletHub compared the “business-friendliness” of more than 1,300 small-sized cities. They looked at 20 metrics, ranging from the average growth in number of small businesses to investor access to labor costs.

Key dimensions included:

  1. Business Environment
  2. Access to Resources
  3. Business Costs

To be considered a city for this study, WalletHub chose those with a population between 25,000 and 100,000 residents. To view the full methodology, visit WalletHub.

How Utah’s cities ranked

While many of the cities on the list were along the coasts, through the midwest, and across the south, no state had as many cities among the top 10 as Utah does.

Source: WalletHub

The top small city to start a business is St. George, followed closely by Cedar City. Another southern Utah city – Washington – came in fourth, with Logan in fifth. Here’s the full top 10:

  1. St. George
  2. Cedar City
  3. Williston, North Dakota
  4. Washington
  5. Logan
  6. Aberdeen, South Dakota
  7. Midvale
  8. Fort Myers, Florida
  9. Clearfield
  10. Bozeman, Montana

Below is a look at which Utah cities also made the top 30 on WalletHub’s list:

  • Pleasant Grove – 15th
  • Lehi – 18th
  • Orem – 19th
  • Ogden – 21st
  • Layton – 23rd
  • Eagle Mountain – 25th
  • American Fork – 27th
  • Tooele – 30th

WalletHub highlights how cities rank in terms of other metrics. For example, in regards to most accessible financing, Sandy and Herriman tied for first with three other cities.

Washington and St. George were found to have the highest average growth in the number of small businesses. Washington also tied for first for the most startups per capita.

Saratoga Springs and Herriman were found to be among the cities with the lowest average revenue per business.

Among these metrics, cities in California and Florida were largely ranked the ‘worst.’ For example, six California cities were ranked as having the most expensive office spaces.

For more on this study, visit WalletHub’s website.

ABC4 did not commission this study and could not verify the results.

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