Real Estate

Charlotte Among Best Cities For Business Startups

CHARLOTTE, NC — Tired of punching someone else’s time clock? If you’ve been thinking about starting your own business, you’re well positioned if you live in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, the best large city to start a new business, according to a new study. Charlotte ranked No. 9 among 180 cities considered in the analysis.

About 15 million people, or about 10 percent of the U.S. labor force are self-employed, according to the personal finance website WalletHub. Some of the greatest opportunities are available in the technology sector, but others cited by WalletHub experts include transportation and the moving of goods and services, rideshare services like Uber and Lyft, artificial intelligence, and renewable energy.

The website looked at what it takes for a startup to be successful, from the five-year business survival rate to the affordability of office space, across three areas — business environment, access to resources and business costs.

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Charlotte leads the way when it comes to growth of small business, according to the report. The Queen City ranked No. 1 in the category of average growth in number of small businesses, and No. 8 in the U.S. when it came to industry variety.

The biggest mistake entrepreneurs make is not learning from their mistakes and not making enough purposeful mistakes, Colette Hoption, an associate professor of management at the Albers School of Business and Economics at Seattle University, said in a statement accompanying the study.

"Mistakes are a part of learning," she said. "They can keep us humble and grounded. And when used strategically, they can help us avoid common decision-making traps."

Adaptability and quick thinking are important in entrepreneurship, she said, noting "it’s important to remember that you can’t know all of the answers [and] all of the important moves all the time because some things will take us by surprise.

Here are the top 10 cities:
1. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
2. Austin, Texas
3. Sioux Falls, South Dakota
4. Missoula, Montana
5. Durham, North Carolina
6. Bismarck, North Dakota
7. Cheyenne, South Dakota
8. Billings, Montana
9. Charlotte, North Carolina
10. Raleigh, North Carolina

On the flipside, the 10 cities least conducive to business startups are:
1. Warwick, Rhode Island
2. Nashua, New Hampshire
3. Columbia, Maryland
4. Manchester, New Hampshire
5. Pearl City, Hawaii
6. Chesapeake, Virginia
7. Wilmington, Delaware
8. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
9. Vancouver, Washington
10. Providence, Rhode Island

Some other findings from the report:

Lewiston, Maine, has the lowest average annual rent for office space, $10.19 per square foot, which is 7.9 times cheaper than in San Francisco, the city with the highest at $80.22 per square foot. Detroit has the lowest labor costs (median annual income), $26,249, which is 4.3 times lower than in Fremont, California, the city with the highest at $111,613. Laredo, Texas, has the lowest cost-of-living index, 77, which is 2.5 times lower than in San Francisco, the city with the highest at 193. Irvine, California, has the highest share of college-educated population, 68 percent, which is 6.1 times higher than in San Bernardino, California, the city with the lowest at 11.2 percent. Miami, Hialeah, Fort Lauderdale & Pembroke Pines, Florida. have the most startups per 100,000 residents, 234.72, which is 12.6 times more than in Columbus, Georgia, the city with the fewest at 18.56.

For its report, WalletHub used data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the National Venture Capital Association, Yelp,, the Tax Foundation, the Council for Community and Economic Research, LoopNet, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and its own research.

More information on methodology is available here.

Patch Editor Beth Dalbey contributed

Photo by GaudiLab via Shutterstock

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