Best Cities For Small Businesses

New York is the best city for entrepreneurs in that it provides an environment that fosters small business development. This finding came from a report by the National League of Cities, which found New York City was an exceptional model of local governments that make small business development a priority.

The report, “Big Ideas for Small Business,” profiles the best practices of 12 cities across the nation with proactive small business initiatives, such as the creation of incubator spaces to accelerate small business expansion, microlending and crowdsourcing, streamlining regulations and inspections and others.

NYC received kudos for its website, where entrepreneurs can search online “Starter Guides” and find a list of their opening requirements and existing business owners can find a dashboard of their upcoming license renewal dates. Also, the NYC Business Acceleration assists individuals and groups opening new establishments.

Among the other cities to receive props was Chicago for its Crowdfunding page called Seed Chicago, which helps small businesses raise capital through nontraditional means. Campaigns have helped business like food trucks and florists and funded efforts to revitalize neighborhoods and promote education. The city also has an incubator program called 1871 whose tenants include startups as wells as universities and bigger players in the technology industry.

The report serves as a toolkit for city leaders across the nation. “Small businesses are an integral part of every community, and are responsible for roughly half the nation’s economic output,” says National League of Cities President Chris Coleman, mayor of Saint Paul, Minnesota. “‘Big Ideas for Small Business’ shows that local leaders are in a unique position to create a small business ecosystem that connects entrepreneurs with city resources, including funding opportunities, streamlined regulations and technical assistance. Cities across the country understand that for small businesses to be successful in the long-term, it is critical that they have the support of communities and local leaders.”

Here are the 12 cities highlighted for their best practices:

  1. Chicago
  2. Cincinnati
  3. Detroit
  4. Kansas City
  5. Mississippi
  6. Los Angeles
  7. Louisville, Ky
  8. Philadelphia
  9. San Antonio
  10. San Diego
  11. San Francisco
  12. Seattle

Check out the full report at