Northern rural states depend heavily on small business

At the metro level, other factors could explain a city’s dependence on small business. Some top cities, like Austin and San Francisco, have strong startup ecosystems that encourage small business development. Others are Rust Belt locations like Buffalo and Grand Rapids, where major industrial presences of old have ceased or reduced operations and left more room for small businesses to flourish. And some leaders, including Los Angeles and Miami, have high populations of racial or ethnic minorities and immigrants, two groups that are more likely to start small businesses.

The data used in this analysis is from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Statistics of U.S. Businesses Tables. To determine the locations most dependent on small businesses, researchers at Smartest Dollar calculated a composite score based on the percentage of employees at small businesses, the percentage of total payroll at small businesses, and the number of small businesses per 10,000 people. In the event of a tie, the location with the greater percentage of employees at small businesses was ranked higher.

Here are the U.S. metropolitan areas most dependent on small business.


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