Great Falls ranked #11 among “Best Small Cities to Start A Small Business”

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The City of Great Falls scored high in a new survey titled “The Best Small Cities to Start a Small Business.”

The list includes 50 small cities (from a pool of 300), and Great Falls ranked #11 – woohoo! Missoula also did well, coming in at #9 on the list.

Here is information from the report about the factors that were used:

The Go.Verizon.com team gathered data from nearly 300 cities across the country, focusing on certain factors that would categorize them as “small” (sorry, no Silicon Valley on this list) without dipping below the mark to “town” status (no one-horse situations, either). These elements also indicated the financial climate of each city and an overview of its demographics. Such factors included:

Population: According to the US census, the population of a city must fall between 50,000 and 75,000 people to be considered a “small city.” Most of the spots in the top ten hit the high end of the scale but still manage to balance out the urban stride with a more hometown vibe.

Education: Or, more precisely, higher education. The team analyzed the percentage of the population over 25 years old who have received a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited university or college.

Travel time to work: More specifically, the average total travel time it takes working individuals 16 years and older (who do not work at home) to reach work from their residences every day. This takes into account the time spent carpooling, waiting for public transportation, and navigating traffic.

Income per capita: For this particular study, mo’ money = mo’ problems. To hit the small biz sweet spot, analysts took into account the average cumulative income of residents in each city. That number reflected the city’s workforce being paid fairly and labor costs still being manageable for employers.

Broadband access: The internet is kind of important nowadays. In fact, it’s pretty crucial to most business operations. Data was collected based on the access each city has to internet, running at speeds of at least 10 Mbps for downloads and 1 Mbps for uploads.

Loans per capita: New businesses can rarely get up off the ground without a business loan. It’s usually one of the first things checked off a startup’s to-do list. With this in mind, how easy is it to get a loan in your city?

Tax scores: Typically, lower taxes provide a better environment in which to establish a new business. The Tax Foundation’s 2019 State Business Tax Climate Index was accessed and the tax-friendliness of each city was determined.

In a press release, Great Falls City Manager Greg Doyon said, “It is no secret to us that Great Falls is open for business. It is easier for entrepreneurs and small businesses to begin in Great Falls than some of the other communities in Montana. Other communities have significant development costs, not to mention incredibly high real estate prices. Great Falls is Montana’s best kept secret for small business.”

Here are the top 25 cities:

  1. Logan, Utah
  2. Sarasota, Florida
  3. Coral Gables, Florida
  4. South Jordan, Utah
  5. Doral, Florida
  6. Cheyenne, Wyoming
  7. Lehi, Utah
  8. Taylorsville, Utah
  9. Missoula, Montana
  10. Corvallis, Oregon
  11. Great Falls, Montana
  12. Portland, Maine
  13. Weston, Florida
  14. Novi, Michigan
  15. Wellington, Florida
  16. Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
  17. Pensacola, Florida
  18. Tigard, Oregon
  19. Olympia, Washington
  20. La Crosse, Wisconsin
  21. Jupiter, Florida
  22. Casper, Wyoming
  23. Port Orange, Florida
  24. Delray Beach, Florida
  25. Redmond, Washington

Click here to read the full report.

 

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