LendingTree provided their research to NBC News, and their studies concluded that three of North Carolina’s top cities — Raleigh, Charlotte, and Durham — offer the best places for small businesses to get started. Raleigh takes the top spot, while Charlotte is at No. 3, and Durham is at No. 4. “54.8% of Raleigh’s population is in their prime working years between ages 25 and 54, ninth-highest among the 100 metros,” reports the study.
Austin, TX, meanwhile, takes the No. 2 spot.
In fact, according to the study, the South holds five of the 10 top ten spots in the United States to open a small business. Aside from North Carolina, states like Idaho (with Boise, ID, coming in at No. 5) and Tennessee (with Nashville coming in at No. 9) also made the top of the list.
But, which states are the worst states to open a new business in?
At the top of the list is California. The Golden State has three cities — Bakersfield, Stockton and Fresno — that are the top three worst cities to open a new business in (Riverside, CA, comes in at No. 5, making California the state with the most entries on the worst list).
LendingTree’s metric is based upon a variety of factors: unemployment rate, the survival rate of new businesses, tax rates, housing costs as a percentage of income, and proportion of self-employed residents were all taken into account. “Stockton’s unemployment rate — 9% — and proportion of residents with at least a bachelor’s degree — 20% — are only slightly better than the figures in Bakersfield. Housing costs as a percentage of income in Stockton — 24.7% — are only slightly worse than in Bakersfield (24.2%). Either way, this high percentage means it may be necessary to seek outside help, including business loans, to start a business in either California metro,” explained LendingTree.