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About the Biz2Credit Top 25 Cities for Small Business Study

Biz2Credit’s 2023 Top 25 Cities for Small Business Study is an annual review of the financial performance of small businesses in the United States. The Study reviews tens of thousands of credit inquiries and applications from small to mid-sized businesses across the country for the full prior year (2022).

Results from the study are a trusted source of insight on the performance of small businesses over the past 12 months. The study is frequently cited in major publications covering finance and the American economy.

Executive Summary

Biz2Credit has identified San Francisco as the “Best Small Business City in America,” based on average annual revenues, credit scores, age of business, and Biz2Credit’s proprietary BizAnalyzer score. This year’s rankings included several cities (ex. Pittsburgh) that were not ranked among the Top 25 Cities for Small Business last year, while San Jose fell to 7th place (from 1st in 2022 rank).

The Biz2Credit BizAnalyzer Score factors in the local business climate, including rents, labor costs, and local tax rates. Biz2Credit examined the financials of over 50,000 companies that submitted applications for small business loans and financing in 2022.

Among the Top 25 metropolitan cities, the leading industries were: 1) Accommodation and Food Services 2) Other Services (except Public Administration), and 3) Retail Trade.

Overall, the average revenues* for small businesses in 2022 increased to $441K from $376K in 2021. Average credit scores for business owners likewise increased to 642 from 633 in 2021. These indicators reflect how the small company economy has rebounded since the pandemic.

*Biz2Credit reported weighted average revenue using 2021 weights to conduct a year-over-year comparison for 2022. The average revenue shown above is weighted by the percentage of cases submitted by businesses in that industry in 2021 compared to all submitted applications.

Key Findings: Summary

Business Performance Measures

San Francisco was ranked as the #1 small business city for 2022, retaining its Top 5 cities position from 2021.

Business Performance Measures

Leading industries among the top 25 metropolitan cities were Other Services (except Public Administration), Retail Trade, and Construction.

Business Performance Measures

Average annual revenue for small businesses increased from $376K in 2021 to $441K in 2022.

Business Performance Measures

Average credit scores for business in metropolitan cities increased by 9 points from 633 in 2021 to 642 in 2022.

Business Performance Measures

Average age of business in metropolitan cities increased by 4 months from 54 months in 2021 to 58 months in 2022.

gqb-1 Technology hubs, such as San Francisco, San Jose, Boston and New York ranked highly as the tech sector thrived throughout 2022, despite layoffs from some large corporations. The tech sector fuels other industries as tech employees shop at local businesses near their workplace, including food and accommodation companies, real estate, construction and logistics. gqb-2

Insight From Biz2Credit CEO, Rohit Arora

Top Small Business Cities Based On 2023 Ranking

According to the 2023 Ranking, the data shows that cities in California and the Northeast remain the leading areas for small businesses based on 2022 performance.

Business Performance Measures

1. San Francisco, CA

Business Performance Measures

2. Sacramento, CA

Business Performance Measures

3. San Diego, CA

Business Performance Measures

4. New York, NY

Business Performance Measures

5. Boston, MA

“Biz2credit Has Identified San Francisco as the Best Small Business City in America Based on 2022 Data.”

Business Performance Measures

Average Annual Revenue: $870K

Business Performance Measures

Average Credit Score: 660

Business Performance Measures

Age of Business: 65 MONTHS (5.4 years)

Ranking based on Biz2Credit’s Proprietary Score (BizAnalyzer Score).

Top 25 Small Business Cities Based on 2023 Ranking Compared to 2022 Ranking

1. San Francisco, CA (5)
2. Sacramento, CA (5)
3. San Diego, CA (11)
4. New York, NY (3)
5. Boston, MA (4)
6. Los Angeles, CA (6)
7. San Jose, CA (1)
8. Portland, OR (8)
9. Seattle, WA (14)
10. Pittsburgh, PA (unranked)
11. Denver, CO (10)
12. Washington, DC (7)
13. Riverside, CA (22)
14. Baltimore, MD (2)
15. Milwaukee, WI (unranked)
16. Kansas City, MO (unranked)
17. San Antonio, TX (24)
18. Austin, TX (17)
19. Philadelphia, PA (25)
20. Providence, RI (9)
21. Tampa, FL (15)
22. Nashville, TN (21)
23. Orlando, FL (19)
24. Las Vegas, NV (unranked)
25. Miami, FL (13)
Rankings based on 2022 small business performance, with previous year’s rankings in parentheses; Loss of ranking is in red. Gain in ranking is in green.

Top Cities And Their Industries

The top 5 cities for small business in 2022 were:
  1. San Francisco, CA
  2. Sacramento, CA
  3. San Diego, CA
  4. New York, NY
  5. Boston, MA
Within these top 5 cities, the top 3 industries were:
  • Accommodation and Food Services
  • Retail Trade
  • Other services (except Public Administration)

California Cities Ranked Among Top 5 Cities For Small Businesses For 3 Consecutive Years

2023 Rank
1st: San Francisco, CA
2nd: Sacramento, CA
3rd: San Diego, CA
2022 Rank
1st: San Jose, CA
5th: San Francisco, CA
2021 Rank
1st: San Jose, CA
3rd: San Diego, CA
4th: Los Angeles, CA
Business Performance Measures

Cities in California have consistently ranked among the top 5 cities for small businesses identified by Biz2Credit. This is largely due to California’s status as a hub for the tech industry, making it an attractive location for small businesses.

As of the 2023 ranking (based on 2022 data), the top three cities for small businesses are all located in California. Notably, California’s cities have demonstrated remarkable resilience in recovering from the impacts of the pandemic.

Top 5 Cities Based On 2023 Rankings Compared To 2022 Rankings

Top 5 cities in 2022 2023 Rank*
San Francisco, CA 1
Sacramento, CA 2
San Diego, CA 3
New York, NY 4
Boston, MA 5
Top 5 cities in 2021 2022 Rank*
San Jose, CA 1
Baltimore, MD 2
New York, NY 3
Boston, MA 4
San Francisco, CA 5
*Rankings is attributed to the year the report is released, but is in reference to the data from previous year.

Ranking Change Of Top Cities Year Over Year

These four cities emerged in this year’s list that were unranked in last year’s list:

City 2022 Rank 2023 Rank
Pittsburgh, PA Not Ranked 10
Milwaukee, WI Not Ranked 15
Kansas City, MO Not Ranked 16
Las Vegas, NV Not Ranked 24

Pittsburgh secured a spot in the top ten due to its high degree of livability, lower cost structures compared to other major cities, and its role as a prominent center for healthcare and technology. Its availability of a highly educated workforce is sourced from the city’s renowned colleges and universities.

Las Vegas is an attractive location for businesses and entrepreneurs due to its business-friendly environment with no state tax, favorable weather, and rapid recovery of the travel and tourism sectors. Many entrepreneurs have relocated from California to Nevada to take advantage of its lower costs and other benefits while remaining close to conduct business on the west coast.

Overall Businesses Key Performance Metrics (Year-Over-Year Comparisons)

  • Average credit score for businesses in metropolitan cities increased to 642 in 2022 from 633 in 2021.

  • Average age of business (months) in metropolitan cities increased to 58 months in 2022 from 54 months in 2021.

  • Weighted average revenue was $441K in 2022 compared to $376K in 2021 (+17.4%).

Average Credit Scores
Average Age of Business
54 mo.
58 mo.
Weighted Average Revenue

Average Annual Revenue Of The Top 10 Metropolitan Cities

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Based on 2022 data, the #1 metropolitan city by annual revenue was San Francisco, CA at $870K.

Average Credit Score Of The Top 10 Metropolitan Cities

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When sorted by credit score, tech hubs such as San Francisco, Seattle, and New York showed some of the highest numbers.

The Top 10 Cities That Have The Most Startups Based On Average Age Of Business

Age of business is an indication of startup activity. The #1 city with the youngest age of business was Milwaukee, WI at 55 months being the average age of business.

Business Performance Measures

Milwaukee, WI

Business Performance Measures

Birmingham, AL
Philadelphia, PA

Business Performance Measures

San Jose, CA

Business Performance Measures

Detroit, MI
Denver, CO
Austin, TX
Greenville, SC

Business Performance Measures

Sacramento, CA
Oklahoma, OK

Year Over Year Performance In Cities Across Categories

The study compared the performance of women-owned businesses, Hispanic-owned businesses, and Asian-owned businesses in top 25 cities in terms of the key metrics.

According to the year-on-year comparison, all three categories of businesses showed an increase in performance, except credit score and age of business for Asian-owned businesses, which remained the same as in the previous year, and Hispanic-owned businesses experienced a one-point decrease in their age of business.

Key Metric Women-owned Hispanic-owned Asian-owned
2022 2021 YoY difference 2022 2021 YoY difference 2022 2021 YoY difference
Average Credit Score (in points) 630 621 +9 638 632 +6 670 670 0
Average Age of Business (in months) 51 48 +3 55 56 -1 66 66 0
Weight Average Revenue (in percentage) $304K $260K +16.70% $482K $437K +10.30% $959K $912K +5.1%

Top Cities And Industries Across Small Business Categories

For all three categories of business owners, Seattle, WA was included in the rank of top five cities, and Other services (except Public Administration) was included in the rank of top three industries.

Women-owned Hispanic-owned Asian-owned
Top 5 cities across small business categories
  • Seattle, WA
  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • New York, NY
  • Boston, MA
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Washington, DC
  • Seattle, WA
  • San Diego, CA
  • Bridgeport, CT
  • Charlotte, NC
  • San Antonio, TX
  • ampa, FL
  • San Diego, CA
  • Seattle, WA
  • Boston, MA
Top 3 industries across small business categories
  • Retail Trade
  • Other services (except Public Administration)
  • Health Care and Social Assistance
  • Construction
  • Other services (except Public Administration)
  • Transportation and Warehousing
  • Retail Trade
  • Accommodation and Food Services
  • Other Services (except Public Administration)

gqb-1 I have been in New York for a long time. I have many businesses here and I love it here. New York is great if you are a small business starting out. There’s a lot you can do here. gqb-2

Insight From Peter Panayiotou.
Owner of Cellar 53 Wine & Spirits

About Biz2Credit

Founded in 2007, Biz2Credit has arranged more than $7 billion in small business financing. The company is expanding its industry-leading technology in custom digital platform solutions for banks and other financial institutions, investors, and service providers. Visit or
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