Financial management site WalletHub released its 2015 ranking on the best and worst cities for starting a business.
An estimated 10 million Americans are self-employed as of 2013, according to a 2014 report from CareerBuilder and Economic Modeling Specialists International. Though self-employment dropped in the U.S. during the recession, these numbers are expected to rise as cities continue to recover.
To measure how welcoming America’s 150 most populated cities are to entrepreneurs, WalletHub used 13 metrics, including corporate taxes, cost of living, affordability of office space, accessibility to financing (Salt Lake City got highest marks), and the local labor force’s educational attainment (Irvine, California, and Seattle topped that category). (Full methodology appears here).
Here, the top and bottom 10 from the list.
While Gov. Chris Christie has given away billions in tax breaks to court well-established big businesses, two New Jersey cities are at the bottom of the list.
Chattanooga — home of last year’s Next City Vanguard conference and super-fast Internet speeds — ranks high. Athens, Georgia, boasts the No. 8 spot. As I wrote earlier this month, Georgia’s renewed tax credit for video game companies is continuing to make the state an attractive place for new talent.
Check out how all the cities rank on this map:
Jenn Stanley is a freelance journalist, essayist and independent producer living in Chicago. She has an M.S. from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.