The top 10 US cities for small businesses

For small businesses, location matters.

Thumbtack, an online marketplace that connects consumers with a range professionals form chimney sweeps to dog walkers, surveyed almost 18,000 small business in 95 cities across all 50 states and ranked the top cities for small businesses.

The survey asked owners to rank their city in 36 different categories, which Thumbtack combined to make an overall grade.

Manchester, New Hampshire took the top spot, while Texas had the most cities of any state with 4 of the top 10.

“We have found that state and city governments that promote local business training and focus on ease of regulatory compliance are consistently perceived as being friendliest to small business,” Jon Lieber, chief economist for Thumbtack, wrote. “Once again, we found that entrepreneurs’ perceptions of their tax burdens were among the least important factors in judging governments.”

We compiled the top 10 cities from the survey along with Thumbtack’s grade for 5 key survey categories.

10. San Antonio, TX

Wikimedia
Businesses along the riverwalk in San Antonio.

Overall friendliness: A

Ease of starting a business: A-

Ease of hiring: B-

Regulations: A

Training and Networking Programs: A+

Source: Thumbtack

9. Boulder, CO

Wikimedia Commons
Pearl Street Mall in Boulder, CO.

Overall friendliness: A

Ease of starting a business: A+

Ease of hiring: C

Regulations: B-

Training and Networking Programs: B-

Source: Thumbtack

8. Fort Collins, CO

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The Fort Collins, CO historic district.

Overall friendliness: A

Ease of starting a business: A

Ease of hiring: C-

Regulations: B-

Training and Networking Programs: A+

Source: Thumbtack

7. Houston, TX

Wikimedia Commons
A mural in downtown Houston. TX.

Overall friendliness: A+

Ease of starting a business: A+

Ease of hiring: B+

Regulations: A+

Training and Networking Programs: B+

Source: Thumbtack

6. Nashville, TN

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Shops in Nashville, TN.

Overall friendliness: A+

Ease of starting a business: A+

Ease of hiring: A-

Regulations: A-

Training and Networking Programs: C-

Source: Thumbtack

5. Knoxville, TN

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The view down South Central Street in the Old City of Knoxville, TN.

Overall friendliness: A+

Ease of starting a business: A+

Ease of hiring: A-

Regulations: A+

Training and Networking Programs: D

Source: Thumbtack

4. Austin, TX

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Shops along Sixth Street in Austin, TX.

Overall friendliness: A+

Ease of starting a business: A+

Ease of hiring: B-

Regulations: B

Training and Networking Programs: A+

Source: Thumbtack

3. Richmond, VA

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Cary Court shops in Richmond, VA.

Overall friendliness: A+

Ease of starting a business: A+

Ease of hiring: A+

Regulations: A+

Training and Networking Programs: A+

Source: Thumbtack

2. Dallas, TX

Wikimedia Commons
North Bishop Avenue Commercial Historic District in Dallas, TX.

Overall friendliness: A+

Ease of starting a business: A+

Ease of hiring: B+

Regulations: A+

Training and Networking Programs: A-

Source: Thumbtack

1. Manchester, NH

Wikimedia Commons
Elm Street in Manchester, NH.

Overall friendliness: A+

Ease of starting a business: A+

Ease of hiring: A-

Regulations: A+

Training and Networking Programs: B+

Source: Thumbtack

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