Best Small Business Cities in America - California - Biz2Credit
Riverside, California, Tops Biz2Credit's 2015 Ranking of The Best Small Business Cities in America 2015May 05, 2015

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Analysis Examined Markets with the Highest Annual Revenue, Credit Scores and Other Factors

Biz2Credit, the leading online platform for small business finance, has identified Riverside, CA, as the Best Small Business City in America, based on a weighted average that includes annual revenue, credit score, age of business (in months), and a proprietary BizAnalyzer score that takes into account cash flow, debt-to-income ratio, and business owners' personal credit scores. The Riverside-San Bernardino area ranked in the top five in three different measurements: average credit score, average annual revenue, and BizAnalyzer score. It also finished in the top ten for youngest age of business, which means startups are thriving there.

"Riverside-San Bernardino area is a hub for IT, advanced manufacturing, food processing, health & medical, professional services," said Biz2Credit CEO Rohit Arora, one of the nation's leading experts in small business finance, who oversaw the research. "Riverside's active Office of Economic Development provides valuable resources to first-time business owners and existing companies looking to expand. Its support networks including incubators, accelerators, and co-working spaces, as well as a 'Shop Riverside' campaign to promote local businesses, highlight the area's wide range of retail shops and restaurants, and increase sales tax revenues for the city's services."

Chicago, IL, finished as the "Second City" on the Biz2Credit ranking.

"Chicago is a major financial center and media center with a robust technology sector, a large number of manufacturing jobs, and it is an important hub for food processing," added Arora, whose company has provided more than $1.2 billion in financing to small and mid-sized businesses since 2007.


New York, the nation's financial hub and a booming technology sector, climbed to number three from number seven last year in Biz2Credit's Best Small Business Cities ranking. The state of California had six cities among the top 25, while Texas and Florida had three each.

"What prevents New York from being the number one city is the high cost of doing business. Rents are high, taxes are high, and businesses are tightly regulated. Of the 25 cities on the list, New York ranked last for age of business," Arora explained.



"In contrast, Orlando had the youngest businesses. Companies are sprouting up around Orlando in the entertainment and technology sectors, as well as service companies. The cost of real estate is much more affordable, it's a low tax state, and the weather is nice. The Sunshine State is a vibrant part of the country right now; it's not your grandfather's Florida anymore. It is attracting younger people and immigrants."

  1. Riverside-San Bernardino, CA
  2. Chicago, IL
  3. New York Metro
  4. Charlotte, NC
  5. Las Vegas, NV
  6. San Francisco-Oakland, CA
  7. Miami-Fort Lauderdale, FL
  8. Los Angeles, CA
  9. Houston, TX
  10. Dallas-Fort Worth, TX
  11. Washington, DC Metro
  12. Atlanta, GA
  13. San Antonio, TX
  14. San Diego, CA
  15. Detroit, MI
  16. Phoenix, AZ
  17. Philadelphia, PA
  18. San Jose, CA
  19. Tampa-St. Petersburg, FL
  20. Denver, CO
  21. Virginia Beach-Norfolk, VA
  22. Orlando, FL
  23. Columbus, OH
  24. Seattle, WA
  25. Sacramento, CA

Indianapolis was the highest ranking city from Biz2Credit's 2014 list to drop out of the top 25 rankings this year. "The controversy over the state's recently passed controversial religious freedom bill is already hurting the state's economy," Arora added.

San Jose dropped from the top spot last year to number 18 in 2015. "The Silicon Valley is still booming, but the area is becoming an incredibly expensive place to do business. It is the West Coast equivalent of New York in that way," Arora said.

The Top 25 metro areas by Annual Revenue included Riverside-San Bernardino, CA, and the New York metro area, followed by San Francisco-Oakland.

The Bay Area is a place of innovation. Businesses are starting in nearby Oakland and elsewhere because San Francisco itself has such high costs," Arora explained.

Top 25 Metro areas with the highest applications in 2014 Average BizAnalyzer Score Average of Age in Months Average Annual Revenue Average Credit Score
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA 56 34 $1,400,960.21 628
New York Metro 63 72 $1,269,859.62 633
San Francisco-Oakland, CA 55 56 $671,049.14 620
Charlotte, NC 54 38 $627,901.09 610
San Antonio, TX 49 33 $626,910.40 596
Las Vegas, NV 53 33 $577,202.14 611
Houston, TX 54 43 $575,990.16 608
Washington, DC Metro 54 42 $570,877.46 598
Philadelphia, PA 48 29 $560,808.71 594
Atlanta, GA 53 33 $521,135.48 594
Denver, CO 52 44 $492,614.38 616
Phoenix, AZ 54 43 $462,153.30 603
Los Angeles, CA 55 53 $454,081.47 624
Miami-Fort Lauderdale, FL 54 41 $418,329.65 618
Dallas-Fort Worth, TX 53 38 $401,611.00 622
Chicago, IL 56 38 $382,361.23 634
Detroit, MI 53 42 $359,345.37 616
Orlando, FL 49 26 $307,909.30 582
San Diego, CA 53 43 $294,636.94 631
Seattle, WA 53 53 $288,668.50 595
Tampa-St. Petersburg, FL 51 33 $281,957.54 602
San Jose, CA 57 49 $279,142.72 608
Columbus, OH 51 34 $159,017.16 589
Sacramento, CA 51 37 $154,286.97 589
Virginia Beach-Norfolk, VA 50 32 $80,610.60 601
National Average 53 43 $434,982.90 608

When sorted by Age of Business (in months), Orlando was the leader, followed by a strong showing from Philadelphia.

"We are seeing a lot of small business activity in and around Philadelphia. Many neighborhoods are becoming revitalized there," Arora said.

Top 25 Metro areas with the highest applications in 2014 Average BizAnalyzer Score Average of Age in Months Average Annual Revenue Average Credit Score
Orlando, FL 49 26 $307,909.30 582
Philadelphia, PA 48 29 $560,808.71 594
Virginia Beach-Norfolk, VA 50 32 $80,610.60 601
San Antonio, TX 49 33 $626,910.40 596
Tampa-St. Petersburg, FL 51 33 $281,957.54 602
Las Vegas, NV 53 33 $577,202.14 611
Atlanta, GA 53 33 $521,135.48 594
Columbus, OH 51 34 $159,017.16 589
Riverside-San Bernardino, CA 56 34 $1,400,960.21 628
Sacramento, CA 51 37 $154,286.97 589
Dallas-Fort Worth, TX 53 38 $401,611.00 622
Charlotte, NC 54 38 $627,901.09 610
Chicago, IL 56 38 $382,361.23 634
Miami-Fort Lauderdale, FL 54 41 $418,329.65 618
Washington, DC Metro 54 42 $570,877.46 598
Detroit, MI 53 42 $359,345.37 616
San Diego, CA 53 43 $294,636.94 631
Houston, TX 54 43 $575,990.16 608
Phoenix, AZ 54 43 $462,153.30 603
Denver, CO 52 44 $492,614.38 616
San Jose, CA 57 49 $279,142.72 608
Los Angeles, CA 55 53 $454,081.47 624
Seattle, WA 53 53 $288,668.50 595
San Francisco-Oakland, CA 55 56 $671,049.14 620
New York Metro 63 72 $1,269,859.62 633
National Average 53 43 $434,982.90 608

When sorted by Credit Score, Chicago was the leader, followed by New York and San Diego.

Top 25 Metro areas with the highest applications in 2014 Average Annual Revenue Average Credit Score Average of Age in Months Average BizAnalyzer Score
Chicago, IL 56 38 $382,361.23 634
New York Metro 63 72 $1,269,859.62 633
San Diego, CA 53 43 $294,636.94 631
Riverside-San Bernardino, CA 56 34 $1,400,960.21 628
Los Angeles, CA 55 53 $454,081.47 624
Dallas-Fort Worth, TX 53 38 $401,611.00 622
San Francisco-Oakland, CA 55 56 $671,049.14 620
Miami-Fort Lauderdale, FL 54 41 $418,329.65 618
Detroit, MI 53 42 $359,345.37 616
Denver, CO 52 44 $492,614.38 616
Las Vegas, NV 53 33 $577,202.14 611
Charlotte, NC 54 38 $627,901.09 610
Houston, TX 54 43 $575,990.16 608
San Jose, CA 57 49 $279,142.72 608
Phoenix, AZ 54 43 $462,153.30 603
Tampa-St. Petersburg, FL 51 33 $281,957.54 602
Virginia Beach-Norfolk, VA 50 32 $80,610.60 601
Washington, DC Metro 54 42 $570,877.46 598
San Antonio, TX 49 33 $626,910.40 596
Seattle, WA 53 53 $288,668.50 595
Atlanta, GA 53 33 $521,135.48 594
Philadelphia, PA 48 29 $560,808.71 594
Columbus, OH 51 34 $159,017.16 589
Sacramento, CA 51 37 $154,286.97 589
Orlando, FL 49 26 $307,909.30 582
National Average 53 43 $434,982.90 608

"San Diego is doing surprisingly well. There is a budding technology center, and the city is trying hard to come out of the shadow of other booming California cities, such as Los Angeles, Riverside, San Francisco and San Jose," Arora said.

About the Biz2Credit Best Small Business Cities in America Study

Biz2Credit analyzed 12,000 businesses with less than 250 employees and less than $10 million in annual revenues from across the country that have been in operation for more than 1 year.