Sarasota-Bradenton Area Ranked High for Small Business

Todays News

Rankings source: WalletHub

A new national survey lists three communities in the Sarasota-Manatee area among the top small cities to launch a business.

WalletHub released a Small Business Survey ahead of Small Business Week, which kicked off Sunday. The survey covered a number of areas, among them what locals are the best places in America for startups. In its small cities list, South Bradenton ranked No. 6, Sarasota showed at No. 17 and Bradenton made it on at No. 20. 

Officials with WalletHub said small cities often provide the best environments for new businesses.

“The benefits of starting a business in a small city include lower overhead costs, stronger relationships with customers and the potential to become a big fish in a little pond,” said Cassandra Happe. “But there are drawbacks, too.

“Entrepreneurs who want to build a large professional network aren’t likely to make as many connections in a town with fewer residents. Other restrictions might include limited industry options, a less diverse customer base, and difficulty attracting and keeping top talent.” 

Indeed, the survey wasn’t all good news for the region. It lists Sarasota among the worst communities to find resource availability, for example. But other conditions like access to capital help elevate the local communities on the overall list. And the business conditions in the state overall, including the low tax environment, help Florida show up strong throughout rankings.

Notably, the same survey ranked Florida the No. 3 best state to launch a business, behind only Utah and Georgia. Four other Florida communities made the top 20 in the list of small cities as well, with Fort Myers ranking the highest at No. 3. Altamonte Springs ranked No. 9, Winter Park rolled in at No. 13 and Casselberry made the list at No. 18.

WalletHub leaders said maintaining a supporting environment for small business was important for local economies. And amid concerns about inflation and other national issues, the survey showed optimism among small businesses looking at the future.

“Some people question the strength of the economy, but its backbone – the small business community – believes the conditions are primed for expansion,” said WalletHub Editor John Kiernan.

“More than 3 in 5 business owners say that it’s currently a good time for a small business to grow, according to a nationally representative survey we just conducted. This optimism persists despite most business owners not seeing evidence of inflation abating.”

Rankings source: WalletHub

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