A small business blog titled “HeroPay” run by CEO Hiro Taylor, recently “analyzed data from 358 cities and conducted a survey of 150 small business owners countrywide to compile a list of the Best cities to start a business in 2017.” The blog featured the city of Lewiston-Auburn, which ranks as number 235 out of 358.

Taylor believes that “entrepreneurs are the backbones of many communities across the country. The businesses they start have the potential to create widespread value and benefit millions of people. The environments they work in has a major influence on their success.” The point of the survey was to “understand the changing landscape of America — and help the entrepreneurial community make informed decisions… Through [the] study [they] analyzed data from 358 cities, synthesizing local data across 10,000 points focusing on 17 metrics.  Business activity, quality of life, labor costs, and taxes were some of the key metrics driving the study.”

On the HeroPay website he further states that “in addition to the data analysis, our researchers surveyed 150 small business owners distributed throughout the country to help understand what aspects are important to small businesses.  The survey explored how small business owners are thinking in 2017 and how they plan to operate their businesses in the coming year. Some of the key questions addressed how companies are thinking about labor costs, revenue, and taxes.”

Some of the statistics they came up with are as follows: the unemployment rate is 2.2%; the median household income is $50,338; percentage foreign born is 3.6%; the ratio of household value to 12 month income is 2.2x; the combined state and local sales tax rate is 5.50%; the percentage below the poverty level is 10.6%; the mean to commute to work is 24 minutes; the percentage of the workforce with a bachelor’s degree or higher is 21.1%; the monthly owner housing costs (median) is $1,266; the real estate taxes (median) are $2,536; the median gross rent for a one bedroom apartment is $511; firms per 100 employable people is 2.4; new establishments +/- rate per 100 is .3; the percentage of firms started in the past year is 5.4%; the percentage of total metro employment from start-ups is 1.7%; the total index score of the city is .46.

In addition to featuring Lewiston, Taylor conducted the economic research on 358 other cities in the United States. If you are looking to compare and contrast your city with Lewiston, go to https://www.heropay.com/academy/best-cities-start-business/.