If you’ve seen “Lady Bird, “the Oscar-nominated coming-of-age film, you’ll know that its main character Christine McPherson is always dreaming of a more exciting, sophisticated life in a big city, rather than her boring hometown of Sacramento. By the end of the movie, however, Christine has a change of heart about California’s capital. And now there’s one more thing to appreciate: it’s the best place in the country to operate a young business.
That’s according to a new survey of the top 50 most populated cities in the United States from online loan marketplace LendingTree. The company used data from more than 80,000 queries that it received for financing from new small business owners around the country to see where companies of this size were doing the best according to both revenue and profitability and taking into account industries and regions. To qualify, companies had to be grossing no more than $7.5 million per year and had been in business for at least six months but for no longer than 60 months. All of the numbers were self-reported by LendingTree’s applications.
Sacramento looked like a pretty nice place in “Lady Bird.” Apparently, it’s also a nice place for young businesses. Both profits and revenue (annually about $316,000) were both among the highest reported in the country. Grand Rapids, Michigan, Portland, Oregon, Knoxville, Tennessee and Denver, Colorado rounded out the top five.
Why have young companies done so well in these cities? A majority — but not all — in the study’s top ten appear on other lists of best places to live in the country so that may have something to do with it. The authors at LendingTree give no specific answers, instead pointing out all the issues that start-ups and young companies must pay attention to — from planning to yes, financing — to succeed.
The lowest-ranked city in the country was Cincinnati followed by Rochester, N.Y. and my hometown of Philly. But who cares about that. We won the Super Bowl, okay?