When it comes to boosting budding entrepreneurs, look no further than the Tar Heel State.
According to a Feb. 13 report by bizjournals, North Carolina is home to two markets with the nation’s top ranking for “small-business vitality.” And by top, they mean the very top — Raleigh is No. 1 in the national rankings and Charlotte is No. 2. Bizjournals said it used a six-part formula to analyze the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan areas, searching for the places that are most conducive to the creation and development of small businesses.
Here’s why North Carolina is a leader even in tough economic times, according to bizjournals:
- Population: Raleigh and Charlotte together gained 427,000 new residents between 2002 and 2007. Raleigh grew by 21.2% in that five-year period, Charlotte by 17.4%. Both dwarfed the national growth rate of 4.8%.
- Employment: The two regions are cushioned from the recession by outstanding job growth during the 2003-08 span
- 23.0% in Raleigh, 15.4% in Charlotte. The U.S. gain was 5.8%.
- Small-business growth: The number of small businesses grew dramatically in both markets from 2005 to 2006, the latest period covered by official statistics. Raleigh posted a 4.6% rise, Charlotte 4.0%. The national increase was 1.3%.
- Small-business concentration: The typical U.S. market has 24.57 small businesses for every 1,000 residents. Raleigh was listed at 27.58 per 1,000, Charlotte at 27.07. Third in the “Top Five” ranking was Seattle, followed by Austin and Boise, Idaho. Detroit was last, battered by the decline of the automotive industry and high unemployment.
This article was submitted by Kathleen O’Connor, a contributing writer for Biz2Credit. Biz2Credit is a small business marketplace that provides entrepreneurs with the latest industry news and financial advice. Send all questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.