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4 Gulf Coast cities ranked among top in US to start a business

Downtown Fort Myers
Downtown Fort Myers
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Southwest Florida has several of the best small cities in the country for starting a business, according to WalletHub.

The finance site evaluated more than 1,300 cities that had 25,000 to 100,000 residents, and it found several in the region made the the cut when it came to business environment, access to resources and business costs.

Small businesses per capita, office space availability, labor costs, investor access, growth in the number of small businesses and cost of living were some factors in the rankings.

Among the top 20 on WalletHub's 2024 "Best & Worst Small Cities to Start a Business" list were Fort Myers (No. 3), South Bradenton (No. 6), Sarasota (No. 17) and Bradenton (No. 20), according to Wallethub. (A city, according to the report, refers to proper and excludes the surrounding metro area. No information was provided on the breakdown between Sarasota, South Bradenton and Bradenton.)

Topping the list was Cedar City, Utah.

Here are the top 20 small cities to start a business, according to WalletHub:

  1. Cedar City, Utah
  2. St. George, Utah
  3. Fort Myers, Florida
  4. Washington, Utah
  5. Post Falls, Idaho
  6. South Bradenton, Florida
  7. Morrisville, North Carolina
  8. Lehi, Utah
  9. Altamonte Springs, Florida
  10. Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
  11. Bozeman, Montana
  12. Eagle Mountain, Utah
  13. Winter Park, Florida
  14. Midvale, Utah
  15. American Fork, Utah
  16. Helena, Montana
  17. Sarasota, Florida
  18. Casselberry, Florida
  19. Springville, Utah
  20. Bradenton, Florida



Elizabeth King

Elizabeth is a business news reporter with the Business Observer, covering primarily Sarasota-Bradenton, in addition to other parts of the region. A graduate of Johns Hopkins University, she previously covered hyperlocal news in Maryland for Patch for 12 years. Now she lives in Sarasota County.

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