Personal finance website WalletHub has just released an analysis of 2017’s best small cities to start a business, with mixed results for South Sound communities.
More than 1,200 cities in the United States were examined by WalletHub’s analysts, each with a population between 25,000 and 100,000 residents.
Lacey was the highest scoring South Sound city on the index, placing 755th on the list. Federal Way wasn’t far behind at 768th. Also appearing on the list: Olympia (874th), Puyallup (938th), Lakewood (942nd), Auburn (993rd), University Place (1140th), Spanaway (1161st) and Des Moines (1218th).
WalletHub’s analysts compared the cities across 16 metrics, which were then categorized into three groups, each assigned a point value.
“Business environment,” which was worth 50 points, encompassed the average length of the work week; the average growth in number of small businesses; number of startups per capita; average revenue per business; average growth of business revenues; and industry variety.
“Access to resources” — which encompassed financing accessibility; investor access; human-resource availability; higher education assets; the percentage of the population with at least a bachelor’s degree; and working-age population growth — was worth 25 points.
Finally, business costs, encompassing office space affordability, labor costs, corporate taxes and cost of living, was also assigned 25 points.
Cities in the Midwest graded highly on the list, with four of the top five (Holland, Mich.); Carbondale, Ill.; East Chicago, Ind.; and Jefferson City, Mo.) in the Heartland or Great Lakes areas. California cities, conversely, comprised eight of the bottom 10 on the list.
To see the entire study, click here.