Entrepreneurs everywhere consistently seek the best places to set up shop in the United States. While some major metropolitan areas have been touted as the best of the best for technology, retail or hospitality startups, there are some not so big cities to consider for economic growth.
1. Asheville North Carolina
As the county seat of Buncombe County, Asheville is another top pick for opening a new business. 2013 Economic indicators show increases in retail trade by 11.2 percent and the leisure and hospitality industry is up 11.3 percent compared to 2012.
This city is proud of its cultural and art endeavors as well as its famed tourist attraction, the Biltmore House still known as the largest home in America built by George Vanderbilt. Future job growth in Asheville is predicted at 33.02 percent and local manufacturing employs 11 percent of the population.
Health care is strong here and with the retail and tourism industry on the rise, Asheville is a great city for new business owners to explore, choose the right location and head on over to Asheville Brewing for a tour and a taste of a local favorite. Lastly, the small business incentives and tax credits available in Asheville are hard to pass up.
2. Burlington Vermont
Maybe it''s the shopping district in Burlington, Vermont, the recipient of the Great American Main Street Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation that is attracting more retailers, restaurants, boutiques and the unusual in this city.
Or, it could be its low unemployment rate of only 3.4 percent compared to the national average of 7.6 percent (Feb 2013). The 16 minute median drive time to work could be a factor or Burlington''s support of women-owned businesses which rose to 25 percent in 2011 that is making it top pick to start a business.
Burlington is also known for its manufacturing which accounts for one-third of the entire state''s manufacturing efforts. And with twenty blocks covering the famed shopping district, it''s no wonder the new and the trendy entrepreneurs are taking Burlington seriously.
3. Austin Texas
There''s a reason tech moguls like Google''s Matt Cutts head to the SXSW Interactive Conference held in Austin every March and it''s not for the warmer climate. Austin is home to many emerging tech companies including uControl a home security company developing innovative ways to remotely control home systems.
Austin is also home to Volusion, an ecommerce platform that is giving eBay a run for its money. Intel is another giant in Austin and the City has been chosen to receive Google''s Fiber, an Internet service with speeds 100 times faster than available broadband.
The Capital of Texas offers a slogan of "Keep Austin Weird" and has received environmental awards for making great use of natural resources and greenery throughout its downtown district. For new tech businesses, Austin isn''t as big as Seattle or San Francisco, but it is rising fast as a top tech town.
4. Lewiston Idaho
Looking for a great city offering awesome tax credits for every small business that reinvests in the community or creates jobs? Put Lewiston, Idaho on your list as this city has a sound 10-year economic plan which will continue its leadership in the recreation, tourism, transportation and arts and entertainment industries.
One of the plan''s elements is to explore and develop water and riverfront property to make Lewiston a national vacation spot—great for the retail, restaurant and sporting equipment industries.
With the Clearwater River as its template, Lewiston plans to explode and for new entrepreneurs this area offers great opportunity.
If you''re looking for an unusual place to start a business that also comes with solid economic growth, one of these four cities is sure to please.
Jean Scheid is a former business owners who offers entrepreneurial tips on startups, managing and funding a business.