Maine addresses feature prominently on a recently released national list of the best small towns in which to start a business.
Bangor was No. 2 among the best cities in the Northeastern United States and Portland No. 3, both narrowly edged by Ithaca, NY, in the analysis of financial site WalletHub. Bangor ranked 96th out of 1,337 cities assessed nationally. Portland was No. 166 among them.
The WalletHub ranking also looked at two other cities in Maine. South Portland ranked # 8 in the Northeast and # 378 in the United States, while Lewiston ranked # 29 regionally and # 712 nationally.
The study results, released Tuesday, compared the business friendliness of cities with 25,000 to 100,000 residents, using 20 metrics broken down into three categories: business environment, business costs and access to resources. of the company.
Based on census data and other verified sources, WalletHub rated communities on individual criteria ranging from the number of startups per capita to the average square footage cost of office space to the average small business loan amount. businesses in every city.
Bangor’s high list was supported by the city’s rank for access to commercial resources, No. 11 among 1,337 applicants. This category accounted for 25% of each city’s assessment and included seven criteria such as the education level of the workforce and the average loan amount.
Bangor ranked # 575 nationally for its business environment and # 536 for business costs.
Portland, on the other hand, ranked 72nd for access to resources, 192 for business environment and 794 for costs.
In the overall ranking, the upper echelons were dominated by cities in the Midwest and West, which scored particularly high in the business environment category. This group of nine criteria included startups per capita as well as several measures related to quality of life.
It is perhaps not surprising that many cities in the Northeast and in California – especially those located near major metropolitan areas – have performed poorly in the cost category. In addition to the average office rent, it included measures of labor expenditure, cost of living, and corporate taxes.
According to WalletHub, the best small town in the United States to start a business was St. George, Utah. The worst, ranked No. 1337, was Westfield, NJ
The ranking comes as Maine’s Small Business Development Centers released their annual report on Wednesday, showing that small business owners and entrepreneurs across the state have asked for help with starting a business year. last at nearly double the pace of 2019.
In addition to its ranking, WalletHub released the results of a national survey of small business owners, asking questions about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. According to WalletHub, 61 million small business owners in United States said the year made them regret having started their businesses. Two-thirds of all respondents said 2020 was the most difficult year in their history in business.