Austin Business Journal by G. Scott Thomas:
This week’s editions of On Numbers have identified the best markets for small businesses within the nation’s four regions. These were the winners:
East (21 markets): Pittsburgh
South (37 markets): Austin
Midwest (19 markets): Minneapolis-St. Paul
West (23 markets): Salt Lake City
Now it’s time to combine the four lists and declare an overall champion.
The U.S. market that provides the best opportunities for small businesses to grow and prosper is Austin, which also finished first in On Numbers’ rankings for 2011 and 2010.
Austin is known for its small business drive. The Austin City Council recently approved a resolution to allow the city to work with the Austin Independent Business Alliance Austin Independent Business AllianceLatest from The Business JournalsFollow this company on some of the goals outlined in the independent business alliance’s Local Business Manifesto.
Another three markets from the South — Raleigh, Oklahoma City and Houston — occupy the runner-up slots in this year’s national rankings. Salt Lake City rounds out the top five.
On Numbers has fashioned a six-part formula to analyze small-business climates across the country. (A small business is defined as any private-sector employer with fewer than 100 workers.)
The formula’s components include five-year population growth, five- and one-year private-sector employment growth, concentration of small businesses per 1,000 residents, one-year change in that concentration, and one-year growth in the number of small businesses.
The following database contains the full national standings, along with selected statistics. It can be re-sorted by any category. Just click the appropriate header.
Austin’s number of small businesses increased 0.4 percent from 39,180 in 2008 to 39,350 in 2009, the latest year for which official figures are available from the U.S. Census Bureau U.S. Census BureauLatest from The Business JournalsFollow this company . That was the biggest gain by any market. Ninety-seven of the 100 metros actually suffered losses.