Small Biz Thriving in Surprising Spots

Most entrepreneurs know that business is booming in tech hubs like Silicon Valley and Seattle. But the micro-business sector — businesses of one to five workers — is also going strong in cities in the South and in the Midwest.

Invoice2go on Wednesday released its second annual ranking of the top 25 U.S. cities for these small business. The report touted Dallas as the top city, with individual businesses collecting an average of $214,805 in invoices in 2016. The city is up from 8th place in 2015, beating out last year’s highest-achieving metropolis, Seattle, which dropped to No. 3.

The report authors credited the ongoing boom in office construction with a number of corporations bringing thousands of new residents to the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

“That’s been good news for the small businesses that build, fit out and renovate office space, and those who offer services to a growing economy,” Bob Briski, Invoice2go’s director of data infrastructure, wrote in a blog post released with the report.

Portland, Oregon made its debut on the list at No. 2, with an average of $201,498 in invoices per business this year. The report observed that the city’s entrepreneurial growth has been fueled by the booming tech and athletics industries and a lower cost of living than neighboring California. The city is has seen an uptick inresidential projects, in addition to food and retail growth, the report added.

Rounding out the top five on the list was No. 3 Houston, with $191,805 average in invoices per business this year. The report noted that Houston was recently ranked the No. 2 fastest-growing city in the U.S., just behind New York. Houston moved up eight spots from last year.

Seattle came in No. 4 on the list with $180,628 in invoices per business, while Chicago was No. 5, with businesses taking in $178,209 in invoices during the same period.

The report’s rankings were determined by looking at the aggregate invoicing data of more than 20,000 businesses that used Invoice2go to track work. The data included entrepreneurs across every industry, including everything from carpenters and plumbers to freelance DJs and fitness trainers. The authors of the report observed that the businesses that invoiced the most in 2016 tended to be blue collar businesses — construction, roofing, painting, flooring, heating & air conditioning, carpentry, electrical and plumbing operations.

In addition to Portland, several other cities also made their debut in the top 25 this year, including: Raleigh (No. 6); Sacramento (No. 7); Boston (No. 12); Tampa (No. 17); St. Louis (No. 19); and Pittsburgh (No. 25).

By Gina Hall [Biz Journals]