From Go.Verizon.com

According to a study published by Go.Verizon.com, Apopka is a great place to start a small business. Apopka made the list as the #50 ranked small city across the US. 20 Florida cities made its top 50 list, putting them in the top 17% across the nation.

America has become the veritable poster child of the startup era. It’s hard to look at the surge of self-made billionaires across all industries in the US, with their humble startup beginnings, and not feel a certain amount of awe. Things around here show no sign of slowing down, and given that this is the “land of opportunity,” it’s unfair to crown only major metro areas across the country as the best places to find it.

Though it is true that when it comes to places rich with business growth and opportunity, small cities don’t generally come first to mind. A painful number of small cities are constantly overshadowed in the media by big players like NYC, LA, Chicago, etc., despite offering better chances at business success. That’s why the team at Go.Verizon.com just released this 2019 report unveiling the best small cities to start a small business.

But avoiding the chaos and competition of large cities and planting your roots in a quieter, yet equally industrious pocket of the country puts your business in a uniquely advantageous position. After some generous research and a bit of computing, Go.Verizon.com has found that the smaller the city, the more room there is to grow.

According to the report, Apopka scored above average on mean income, which means they have affordable labor. Florida, in general, scored well for their tax score which positively affected both Apopka and Sanford. Apopka also scored well for having broadband access.

Robert Agrusa, President of the Apopka Area Chamber of Commerce, was pleased with Apopka’s ranking.

“The Apopka Area Chamber of Commerce has been laser-focused on our new mission of serving the economic development, prosperity, and sustainability of our community and region through connectivity, leadership, education, and support,” he said. “Our partnership with the City of Apopka is stronger than ever and the Apopka area is a wonderful place to grow your business! By creating a pro-business environment that supports and champions local businesses and entrepreneurs, encourages economic development, business development and job growth, together we can make the Apopka area the most attractive place to live, work and raise a family!”

See full list of cities here

Data factors examined

So how did these cities win the top spots? It’s all about the numbers. The Go.Verizon.com team gathered data from nearly 300 cities across the country, focusing on certain factors that would categorize them as “small” (sorry, no Silicon Valley on this list) without dipping below the mark to “town” status (no one-horse situations, either). These elements also indicated the financial climate of each city and an overview of its demographics. Such factors included:

Population: According to the US census, the population of a city must fall between 50,000 and 75,000 people to be considered a “small city.” Most of the spots in the top ten hit the high end of the scale but still manage to balance out the urban stride with a more hometown vibe.

Education: Or, more precisely, higher education. The team analyzed the percentage of the population over 25 years old who have received a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited university or college.

Travel time to work: More specifically, the average total travel time it takes working individuals 16 years and older (who do not work at home) to reach work from their residences every day. This takes into account the time spent carpooling, waiting for public transportation, and navigating traffic.

Income per capita: For this particular study, mo’ money = mo’ problems. To hit the small biz sweet spot, analysts took into account the average cumulative income of residents in each city. That number reflected the city’s workforce being paid fairly and labor costs still being manageable for employers.

Broadband access: The internet is kind of important nowadays. In fact, it’s pretty crucial to most business operations. Data was collected based on the access each city has to internet, running at speeds of at least 10 Mbps for downloads and 1 Mbps for uploads.

Loans per capita: New businesses can rarely get up off the ground without a business loan. It’s usually one of the first things checked off a startup’s to-do list. With this in mind, how easy is it to get a loan in your city?

Tax scores: Typically, lower taxes provide a better environment in which to establish a new business. The Tax Foundation’s 2019 State Business Tax Climate Index was accessed and the tax-friendliness of each city was determined.

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