Looking to start a business? It’s all about location, location, location.
A new report from financial information site WalletHub has the lowdown on the best cities for starting a business. The analysis is based on 14 different metrics, including office space affordability, average education of the local labour force, cost of living, and access to financing.
Jacksonville, Fla., takes the top spot, supported by the second-highest five-year small business survival rate in America and a plentiful labour force.
“Jacksonville’s high ranking as an entrepreneurial destination mirrors expectations for strong growth throughout the city’s economy in 2014, buoyed by hiring in the construction and professional services industries, as well as a burgeoning startup community,” the WalletHub report says.
In general, southern cities outperformed those in every other region. Florida and Georgia each have two cities in the top 10 — Jacksonville and Cape Coral, and Augusta and Columbus — and New England doesn’t even crack the list until No. 48, with Rochester, N.Y.
Here are the five best cities for starting a business:
1. Jacksonville, Fla.
2. Fayetteville, N.C.
3. Augusta, Ga.
4. Jackson, Miss.
5. Memphis, Tenn.