NC has 3 cities near the top of ‘Best Places to Start a Business’ list

Photo: VisitNC

April 25. Everyone knows Charlotte is at or near the top of US cities in terms of net in-migration, but a new study also ranks it 13th among 100 large US cities to start a business.

The study from WalletHub put Durham at fourth-place and Raleigh at eighth-place, in an array of cities from Albuquerque (No. 47) to Washington, DC (No. 100).

Bigger cities have their benefits, according to Jeff Pollack, Ph.D, professor at the Poole College of Management at North Carolina State University.

Prof. Jeff Pollack

“Big cities are helpful during rough economic times because aspiring entrepreneurs can market to more people and have different avenues for revenue generation (even a side hustle). But, in big cities, it is easy to “get lost.” And, unless you have a very good social networking pattern, it can be lonely in a big city,” Pollack said.

Florida had four cities in WalletHub’s Top 10: Orlando, No. 1; Miami, No. 2; Jacksonville, No. 7; and Tampa, No. 10.


Americans are born with an entrepreneurial streak. From the Gold Rush to the Industrial Revolution to the Internet Age, intense periods of innovation have molded our economy and sparked important societal advancements.

That said, the past few years have been one of the toughest times ever for business owners in the U.S. due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Conditions in the U.S. are improving now that the country has mostly reopened and many people have gotten vaccinated, but many business owners are having trouble finding new employees.


WalletHub compared 20 key metrics, ranging from the five-year business-survival rate to the percentage of residents who are vaccinated, from labor costs to office-space affordability to come up with the rankings—not to mention accessibility of financing.

How can government stimulate entrepreneurship? Pollack responded:

—Safe and inexpensive child care.
—Low rent housing.
—Free access to co-working spaces.
—Discounts on the cell phone and internet plans.
—Introductions (via mentor events) to influencers.


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