However, freelancers, startup founders, and small business owners have some great locations that you may not have realized were great for business and now the secret is out on eight of them:
1. Springfield, Missouri: With low labor costs and tax basis, Springfield is a great place to start a new business as well as expand an existing one. The city and state provide many programs to help stimulate local business, startups, and well-known companies like Bass Pro Shops, which is headquartered in the area.
Missouri Partnership identifies key industries in the Springfield region as distribution and logistics, advanced manufacturing, call centers and back office, technology and innovation, corporate office, and data centers. Missouri Partnership’s CEO, Steve Johnson notes that "the Springfield region includes Missouri’s third largest city and metro area and is highly rated for its tax climate, livability factors, and growth in jobs and population."
2. Austin, Texas: More than just a great place to enjoy music, this small business-friendly city is also becoming known as a southwest hub for startups. Large tech and retail companies have also opened up offices here, creating a new opportunity for local talent to tap into greater job opportunities.
The 2016 Kauffman Growth Entrepreneurship Index had Austin as the second fastest city to grow its entrepreneurial base after Washington, D.C., with its start-up community growing by 81.2%.
3. Provo, Utah: The city has all the ingredients for creating a great place for business, including a university setting that is doing more for entrepreneurs, a strong and giving investment community, and civic support. For example, there are co-working spaces like Startup Building and programs like the Startup Connectory that are directed at helping businesses launch and succeed.
4. Des Moines, Iowa: America’s heartland is becoming a burgeoning area for startups and entrepreneurship thanks to organizations like Greater Des Moines (DSM), which is working to help entrepreneurs and inspire angel investors to come to the city.
Initiatives include Square One DSM to connect startups and investors as well as help founders develop their business models. Mentoring and networking are also available along with other resources, tax breaks, and affordable space for setting up shop.
5. Colorado Springs, Colorado: There are multiple organizations, tax incentives, and resources that have encouraged dozens and dozens of entrepreneurs to start their businesses here and now they are thriving and helping others do the same.
Not just for cannabis, Colorado Springs and other cities throughout Colorado are launching tech, environmental, and socially driven companies thanks to groups like Peak Startup, Built In Colorado and Startup Savant.
6. Las Vegas, Nevada: After the economic crisis of 2008 and in light of the ongoing focus on gambling and resorts, Las Vegas has come a long way in a short time to reinvent itself to become a mecca for businesses of all types. With businesses fleeing California in droves due to the oppressive taxation there, Las Vegas opened many with open arms and attractive tax relief.
With Zappos and Tony Hsieh leading the way, the city now hosts some of the largest industry trade shows for tech, fintech, and other industries as well as offers Startup Row with accelerators, incubators, and investors that have co-working spaces, funding and mentoring programs, and more to stimulate a business environment that has transcended gambling, tourism and real estate.
7. Seattle, Washington: While you might think it’s an obvious city given that it’s home to Microsoft, Starbucks, and other well-known countries, it’s only been recently that it’s become a haven for startups, entrepreneurs and small business owners.
Besides great opportunities for freelancers and outsource workers to partner with these big brands, the area has added accelerator and incubator programs, new venture capital firms, university entrepreneurship programs and economic development ventures to incentivize the development of small businesses and startup tech companies.
Moving to one of these quieter cities can provide you with an advantage over staying in a bigger city where there may be too much competition already. Plus, you’ll be able to enjoy a lower cost of living, beautiful scenery, and a different pace of life designed to put more quality and creativity back into your routine.