Banking & Finance, Economic Development, and Small Business & Startups

Grand Rapids is fifth-best 'large city' in US to start a business

May 1, 2017
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A personal finance website has ranked Grand Rapids as one of the top five "large cities" for entrepreneurship.

WalletHub placed Grand Rapids at No. 5 on its ranking of 2017’s “Best Large Cities to Start a Business,” edging out Durham, North Carolina and St. Louis to round out the top five.

Grand Rapids was determined to have the highest average growth in number of small businesses in the nation, buoying its overall score of 54.02.

Grand Rapids also ranks in the top 25 for cost of living (18th), financing accessibility (21st), office space affordability (22nd) and industry variety (23rd).

Detroit was the only other Michigan city ranked, scoring a 45.21 and coming in at No. 95.


WalletHub compared the 150 most-populated cities in the U.S. across three key factors — business environment, access to resources and business costs. Those three factors were weighted and broken into 18 metrics.

Business environment (50 points): length of average work week, average growth in number of small businesses, startups per capita, average growth of business revenues, five-year business survival rate, industry variety and entrepreneurship index.

Access to resources (25 points): financing accessibility, venture investment per capita, prevalence of investors, human capital availability, higher education assets, share of college-educated population and working-age population growth.

Business costs (25 points): office space affordability, labor costs, corporate taxes and cost of living.

A total score for each city was calculated based on its weighted average across all metrics, and the ranking was determined using those final scores.

Top 10

1.   Oklahoma City (56.85)
2.   Salt Lake City (55.14)
3.   Charlotte, North Carolina (54.90)
4.   Tulsa, Oklahoma (54.16)
5.   Grand Rapids (54.02)
6.   Durham, North Carolina (53.59)
7.   St. Louis (53.54)
8.   Austin, Texas (53.37)
9.   Amarillo, Texas (53.31)
10. Sioux Falls, South Dakota (52.77)

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