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Best Cities for Small Business

Don’t know if this has been posted before, but here is a pretty interesting article about a study done by Dun and Bradstreet detailing the “Best Cities for Small Business”.  It also includes some information on job growth as well.  Darn! Should we be looking to relocate to Minnesota :)

http://www.entrepreneur.com/bestcities/0,5271,,00.html

--Garett

Garett Chang
Friday, September 26, 2003

That list looks pretty volatile from year to year... 28th! No, 8th!

Rick
Friday, September 26, 2003

No you should not move...
Rick is correct that the factors are too vague/uncontrolled/irrelavent  to make a decsion.  Of the top 10 this year, only 3 were here last year.  With #1 this year being 15th last year.

I suspect that if we looked at DC, where they have been in the top 2, for two years, we would find these are lobbies. Where being one is a business and who you know is not necessarily long term.

MSHack
Friday, September 26, 2003

I just started my business in Norfolk VA, and it's good to know I chose correctly.  I'm glad that happened to coincide with where I live... ;)

nathan
Friday, September 26, 2003

I live in MN.  Bring your business here, we'll tax you to death.

Mike
Friday, September 26, 2003

>>> I suspect that if we looked at DC, where they have been in the top 2, for two years, we would find these are lobbies. <<<

The list doesn't have DC in the top 2.  It says DC/MD/VA/WV.  The DC suburbs in Maryland and northern Virginia have a lot of businesses, large and small, that provide services to the Federal government ("belt-way bandits" as they're called).  And there are small businesses that provide services to the big companies that contract to the government.  In addition to the feds, there are telecom and Internet companies (e.g. AOL).

Z
Friday, September 26, 2003

At least we made the list here in NV.  Say what you want about NV, but you can't beat the taxes!

christopher

christopher baus (tahoe, nv)
Friday, September 26, 2003

Peijing

me_in_the_corner
Friday, September 26, 2003

Nevada has the nation's highest tax on people who don't understand statistics.

Alyosha`
Friday, September 26, 2003

Statistics or Probability?

a real question, because there's likely a real distinction somewhere...

e.g. statistics being based on history (75% of the people who travel to Las Vegas lose $50 or more), probability based on expected future behavior (if you bet $5 on red/black roulette, there's a 47% chance of winning money on one spin).

Dave Torok
Friday, September 26, 2003

Seattle. But what kind of a small biz?

gg
Friday, September 26, 2003

I'd think the best place for a non-retail business is near others in the same industry... easier to hire and/or get people to move there.

Cubist
Friday, September 26, 2003

Henderson, Nevada baby. Good for business. Not good for all people though.  There are many beautiful places to build a town in the Southwest. Vegas/Henderson isn't one of them.

http://www.cityofhenderson.com/ecodev/ecodev.html

fool for python
Friday, September 26, 2003

Good ole New York, NY hasn't moved much: 31 -> 29, Seattle moved from 89 -> 50.

Do they tell you what these numbers mean? What is "Risk?" Is a 96 better than a 2? maybe we should all go to Indainapolis and Tampa (#44 and #25) where the risk is "2" and the small biz growth is in the 90's. Or maybe we should go to Nassau/Suffolk, New York (a-k-a Long Island, #43) where the risk is 100 and the growth is 8. Which is better?

The only way I have a clue is that they list Nassau/Sufflk as the #1 Best Bet for Risk. So this means... I'm gauranteed to do well if I start in Nassau/Suffolk? Is it 100% or on a scale of some sort? Is 100 the top because the scale is weighted?

Mark T A W .com
Friday, September 26, 2003

Anywhere in the North East if you ask me.

It is just like California without all that California. ;-)

Marc
Saturday, September 27, 2003

Surveys like this bug me for the following reasons.

They present a bunch of variables such as rate of startups, survival rate of startups, etc without really being able to reveal the real story behind both successful businesses and failed businesses.

For instance: a high rate of startups may indicate that a certain area has a bullish and non-conservative "can do" culture. It also may indicate a lot of middle class pain: one thing that many laid off executives and managers do is look into sinking their remaining assets into an AlphaGraphics (or whatever) franchise where they visualize being their own self employed PhB. IE, a high rate of business formation may be indicating something undesirable in the local environment.

A high rate of startups may contribute to consumer skepticism ("will you be around or will you fold like all the other stores that were in this space?") It certainly indicates that there will be a lot of the same kinds of businesses around competing for the same customers, loan money and employees.

A low rate of formation of businesses *may* indicate overt conservatism, but it may also portend much better opportunities available due to underserved needs.

And what about the unique nature of businesses? When someone is laid off or otherwise desperate for income, anything from these wireless internet kiosk "opportunities" pitched on late night TV to a shrink wrapped franchise looks good. I submit that a person is better off looking around their community for underserved needs that fit their own temperament and talents - that is, if they have the will power and discipline to develop it into a business.

I can imagine these surveys being misused in two ways. The clueless and unimaginative will use it to rationalize starting a business just because an area "seems" to guarantee success. And someone who really needs to just buckle down and try their idea will be put off by a survey indicating probable early death.

OK, I wouldn't try starting a skin waxing boutique in Steubenville, OH.... but aside from extreme mismatches between local needs and preferences and the product being sold, I think someone with a decent idea just needs to ignore the official numbers, do their own research and go for it...

My $0.02, worth less than that probably...

Bored Bystander
Saturday, September 27, 2003

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