Wallethub compared more than 1,300 small American cities to determine which would foster the most growth for small businesses based on 20 different factors, including accessible financing, human-resource availability, workforce education levels, office space costs, labor costs and more.
Here are the cities that made WalletHub's top 10 list of "Best Small Cities for Starting a Business" in 2021:
St. George, UtahCedar City, UtahWilliston, North DakotaWashington, UtahLogan, UtahAberdeen, South DakotaMidvale, UtahFort Meyers, FloridaClearfield, UtahBozeman, Montana
These cities ranked highly in all of Wallethub's determining factors. Bozeman and Williston, for example, ranked highest in Wallethub's analysis of the most startups per capita. Washington and St. George had the highest average growth in the number of small businesses in their respective areas.
Additionally, five of the top 10 worst small U.S. cities for small businesses are in New Jersey.
Here are the worst cities to start a small business, falling to the bottom of Wallethub's 1,337-city list, starting from the bottom:
Westfield, New JerseyRidgewood, New JerseyHoboken, New JerseyTrumbull, ConnecticutAtlantic City, New Jersey,Olney, MarylandClifton, MarylandWest New York, New JerseyPotomac, MarylandMilton, Massachussetts
The COVID-19 pandemic forced the permanent closure of an estimated 100,000 small businesses as of August, according to Yelp's Local Economic Impact Report published in September of 2020, though experts indicate a significant recovery over the next several years.
The Small Business Administration has approved $762 billion in Payment Protection Program loans as of April 18.
The SBA on Thursday also launched a new round of Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance totaling $5 billion for small businesses "most severely affected by the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic" and on Saturday reopened the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant application portal for different performance and art venues in need of economic relief.
"Many of our nation’s small businesses are still struggling to recover from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and we’ve found that the smallest businesses — the majority of which are minority-owned — are hurting the most," SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman said in a Friday statement.
She added that the SBA’s Supplemental Targeted Advance program "aims to reach those businesses with 10 employees or less who need our help today" and will help ensure "no small business falls through the cracks or gets left behind."