The Best Cities in the United States for Small Businesses

Is an exciting new business idea keeping you up at night? Are you considering moving to a place, any place to make it succeed?

Finding cities receptive to small businesses can be tough in America. The sheer size of the country and the differences in city and state laws can dictate whether your brilliant business idea will sink or float.

Recently, Lending Tree did some research on the best cities to start a small business in the US and the results were quite surprising.

Here are the top three.

3. Portland, Oregon


Portland is known as the last relatively affordable city on the West Coast. With a stubbornly quirky culture, it has long been receptive to small, independent businesses, particularly those that may not find a suitable customer base in other big cities.

The city’s economy is also hugely welcoming to new entrepreneurs. For instance, Oregon does not have sales tax. This is great news for people hoping to go into independent retail as sales tax sometimes takes a chunk of out business earnings.

The state also allows net operating losses to be carried forward for up to 15 years and offset against taxes. This means your small business has more time to slowly build up profits, unlike in most other cities.

2. Grand Rapids, Michigan


85.2% of small business owners surveyed in Grand Rapids reported an average annual revenue of nearly $300,000. The city’s smaller size means it’s a great place to start a business and test the market without crippling competition around every corner.

Additionally, the existence of small business incubators like Start Garden provide support to new entrepreneurs in the form of grants, learning opportunities and working spaces.

Organisations like the Michigan Small Business Development Centre also train and counsel individuals through the important steps of starting a business.

1. Sacramento, California


Sacramento is the sixth largest city in California though, as it also happens to be the fastest growing city in the state, this ranking may soon change.

The mild weather and easygoing locals make Sacramento a safe and welcoming place for people looking to plant roots.

Small businesses surveyed in the city reported an average annual revenue of almost $320,000. Known for its diversity, amongst other things, new business owners can find welcoming markets for their unconventional products here.

With an optimistic outlook on the city’s economy, a low unemployment rate and a big city vibe, not only will entrepreneurs enjoy living here, with time, they can expect higher revenues for their small businesses.

Moving Money Across State Lines

Whether you decide to stay put or move to one of these three cities, it doesn’t mean you can’t do business across the United States and around the world.

Expanding a small business beyond state and national borders is usually a headache-inducing process for small business owners because of the cost of exchanging payments with business partners across the globe.

Bank wires, which are most commonly used, are slow, expensive processes. Not only do the funds rarely reach their destination on time, there is also no way to track them to make sure they’re going to the right person.

Use Veem.

Veem moves your money through blockchain, eliminating the need for expensive middleman payments that you typically have to pay to other banks. Aside from the fact that the payments cost a fraction of bank wires, they are also significantly faster.

As if this isn’t enough, you can track your payment on a personal dashboard so you know exactly when the payment has reached your business partner.

Sign up for a free Veem account and let us help you do business in Portland, Grand Rapids, Sacramento and beyond.

SMB Content

You need 7 tools to master international trade. Find out what they are.



* This blog provides general information and discussion about global business payments and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.