1. Los Angeles, California – Angel Anderson, CEO, Co-Founder, NailSnaps
I left a cushy, six-figure salary as VP at world class creative agency here in Los Angeles because I wanted to empower women creatively. Today I run a business conceived, managed, and wholly produced right her in sunny, Southern California.
Los Angeles is home to a burgeoning startup scene and a really collaborative community is being formed here. Mayor Garcetti has made a point partnering with the startup and tech biz community, making LA an attractive place to for tech startups. My businesses, NailSnaps is a creative commerce platform that lets people turn their Instagrams into nail art. NailSnaps sits at the intersection of fashion and technology, so Los Angeles is the perfect place for us to be headquartered.
2. Detroit, Michigan – Marty Babayov, Founder, The Suit Depot
While I probably would have started my business in whichever city my family lived in at the time, Oak Park, MI, and the Metro Detroit area in general, was the perfect setting for it. For a small business owner, payroll and rent are your two biggest expenses. While Detroit is, so to speak, ‘on the map’, the cost of living here is much lower than in other big cities and because of that, you are able to find quality employees at a fraction of the cost than in other big cities. Our first warehouse was 5,000 sq ft and only cost us $1,500 a month to rent. I don’t think we could have found that in many other cities. This allowed us to open with a shoestring budget and grow organically to the point we are at now.
3. New York City, New York – Alina Adams, Author, Getting Into NYC Kindergarten
Applying a child to Kindergarten in NYC is a full-time job – and I did it three times!
As a result, other parents started coming to me for advice. So I gave out advice. Then they invited other parents, and it turned into a workshop. Preschools began offering to pay me to give a workshop. And parents at those workshops begged me to write a book so they could have all my information in one place.
Last April, I published the book they’d been clamoring for, “Getting Into NYC Kindergarten,” and now I regularly go to schools, religious organizations and other businesses, giving talks to help people navigate the Draconian NYC school application system. I tell them everything the NYC Department of Education won’t. I’ve also launched a podcast. Because so many people wanted to talk about their particular situation after reading the book/attending a workshop, I began offering private consultations, and now it’s a full-time business that could never have happened anywhere but NYC.
4. Jupiter, Florida – David Batchelor, President/Co-Founder, DialMyCalls.com
For me it was easy, I wanted to stay in my hometown of Jupiter, Florida. Tech companies often feel the need to move out west to Silicon Valley which would have probably helped in some aspects, but being able to help the town I grew up in was and still is extremely important to me. It’s nice to be able to hire so many local employees which in turn helps the local economy. Jupiter, Florida is an amazing place to live and I really hope our small business and many others are helping the town stay great.
5. Asheville, North Carolina – Brent Hartmann, Founder, Bitcookie
I chose to start a business in Asheville, North Carolina after seeing the effectiveness of a locally supported economy. Asheville has more small businesses than any of the cities I’ve visited in the US, and they’re all supportive of other new, locally owned companies. When I started Bitcookie, a web design company, technology wasn’t an over-saturated industry. It was easier to gain footing in the first few months starting up. Everyone thinks if you’re in tech you should fly to Silicon Valley, but that’s where your biggest competition will be, waiting to snuff you out. Instead of being a tech giant, I wanted to work with people I see around town and who aren’t already inundated with tech corporations.
6. Sioux Falls, South Dakota – Colin Tracy, CTO, Chelsea’s Boutique
Chelsea’s Boutique moved to Sioux Falls, SD three years ago. After being in business for around three years in a small town it was time for a move and growth. We considered a couple different cities in the Mid-West but eventually settled on Sioux Falls, SD because of the growth and community. Downtown Sioux Falls offers a city feel with a tight knit community that is usually only seen in small towns. It has consistently been featured in Forbes for top cities for college grads, lowest unemployment, and best small cities for business and careers. We’ve seen our business grow steadily the past three years and in 2015 grow by 52%. Sioux Falls loves local shops and has multiple committees working to bring more businesses not only to Sioux Falls but Downtown Sioux Falls as well.
Did you start a business? Let us know why you picked your location in the comments section below.