Best and Worst Small U.S. Cities to Start a Small Business Revealed

*Originally published on

Looking to start a small business? Here are some locations you should strongly consider and some you might want to leave alone.

No doubt, 2020 was a rough year for most small businesses. According to WalletHub, 66% of small business owners report 2020 was their worst year ever. Half say it will take over 1 year to fully recover from the effects of the pandemic.

Fortunately, most custom integration companies were spared the same downturn. But have you ever thought of picking up your custom installation business out of the big city and starting fresh in a new, smaller location? But where would you go, especially in this post-COVID-19 world?

new study by WalletHub analyzed more than 1,300 small U.S. cities using 20 different criteria, including the extent of their COVID-19 problem, to determine the best and worst cities in the U.S. to start a new business right now. According to the study, St. George, Utah, is the best U.S. metropolitan area with a population under 100,000 in the nation to start a small business. The worst small city is deemed to be Westfield, N.J., a suburb of Newark, N.J.

St. George was one of several Utah cities near the top of the list. In fact, six of the top nine best cities for small businesses are in the Beehive State. Here is the top 10:

  1. St. George, Utah
  2. Cedar City, Utah
  3. Williston, N.D.
  4. Washington, Utah
  5. Logan, Utah
  6. Aberdeen, S.D.
  7. Midvale, Utah
  8. Fort Myers, Fla.
  9. Clearfield, Utah
  10. Bozeman, Mont.

On the flip side, New Jersey dominates the list as the worst state to start a business, with six of eight worst cities on the list. The 10 worst small cities in the U.S. to start a small business are:

  1. Westfield, N.J
  2. Ridgewood, N.J
  3. Hoboken, N.J.
  4. Trumbull, Conn.
  5. Atlantic City, N.J.
  6. Olney, Md.
  7. Clifton, N.J.
  8. West New York, N.J.
  9. Potomac, Md.
  10. Milton, Mass.

In determining its rankings, the study looked at the following in 1,337 small U.S. cities: