Alabama city named 8th best in America to start a small business

Woman holding an open sign at a grocery store

Launching a business can be an exciting yet daunting proposition. City size matters when choosing a launching pad for a startup. And as many veteran entrepreneurs — and failed startups — understand well, bigger is not always better. Depending on an entrepreneur’s type of business and personal preferences, a city with a smaller population can be a better option, and one in which their new business can thrive.

Such is certainly the case with Dothan, Ala., which ranks as the 8th best city in American to launch a small business, according to a new analysis of 2016’s Best & Worst Small Cities to Start a Business by the personal finance website WalletHub.

To identify the most business-friendly small markets in which to launch a new venture, WalletHub compared 1,268 small-sized cities across 15 key metrics, including “average growth in number of small businesses” and “prevalence of investors” to “office-space affordability” and “corporate taxes.”

Here’s how Dothan ranks across all areas analyzed:

  • Length of Average Work Week: 461
  • Average Revenue per Business: 171
  • Average Growth of Business Revenues: 635
  • Industry Variety: 438
  • Financing Accessibility: N/A
  • Prevalence of Investors: 265
  • Employee Availability: 308
  • Higher-Education Assets: 51
  • Workforce Educational Attainment: 777
  • Office-Space Affordability: 1
  • Median Annual Income: 326
  • Corporate Taxes: 500
  • Cost of Living: 107
  • Overall Score: 44.63

Of course, Dothan doesn’t come up number one in every category — but being the nation’s best city for office space affordability helped secure Dothan’s 8th place ranking.

A big advantage of starting a business in a small city is that you can more easily learn about and access the resources that are available to you from private and public sources,” said Chuck Sacco, Assistant Dean of Strategic Initiatives in the Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship and expert who weighed-in on the study. “In a small city, it will be easier to et to know the best service providers such as lawyers, your banker may likely be someone you know, and you can more easily create a name for yourself (and hopefully get some good local press).”

Additional Alabama cities that were ranked in the top 500 are:

  • 133. Tuscaloosa
  • 247. Florence
  • 263. Auburn
  • 280. Bessemer
  • 367. Homewood
  • 427. Decatur
  • 436. Hoover
  • 500. Opelika

Here’s a look at how cities across America ranked:

Source: WalletHub



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