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Two Washington Small Cities Among 10 Best in the Nation for Starting a Small Business

(The Center Square) – A pair of small cities in Washington state cracked the top 10 in the nation in terms of the best small cities for starting a small business.

That’s according to Go.Verizon’s fifth annual such report, which ranked Richland in Eastern Washington as the second-best city in America for launching a small business, while the state capital of Olympia at the southern end of Puget Sound ranked sixth.

GoVerizon looked at nearly 300 cities and ranked the top 50.

“Launching a small business in a big city can be challenging due to high prices, traffic, excessive noise, and oftentimes fierce competition,” the report states. “Smaller cities, on the other hand, often lack the competition found in larger cities, showing that, with good market research, your small business idea may be just what a small city needs.” 

The report used six metrics for determining its rankings: local workforce education level, in-city commute times, per capita income, broadband access, availability of SBA loans, and overall tax friendliness.

The multinational telecommunications conglomerate characterized Richland – a city of approximately 60,000 located in southeastern Washington at the confluence of the Yakima and the Columbia rivers – as a young city with a dense urban feel.

“While it is a small city, it’s packed year round with fun outdoor activities, music festivals, and cultural showcases,” the report states. “Roughly 25% of Richland residents hold a bachelor’s degree, and earn 4% more than the average income.”

As for Olympia, GoVerizon said some might call the city of 52,000 “the backbone of the state.”

As for why it ranked so high on the list: “Olympia is also one of the region’s top tourist attractions, which could explain why commute time is the third highest on our list. Luckily, this city’s tax score, average income, and average business loan size are great perks for those looking to set up shop in Olympia.”

While only two small cities from Washington made the top 10, several other small cities in the Evergreen State earned a place on GoVerizon’s list: Lacey (No. 11), Redmond (No. 12), Pasco (No. 17), Shoreline (No. 19), Burien (No. 34), and Lakewood (No. 44).