Durham named sixth-best city to start a small business

Downtown Durham is home to a cluster of technology startups.
Downtown Durham is home to a cluster of technology startups. The Herald-Sun

If you are starting a business in 2017, North Carolina is one of the best places to do it, according to a new study by finance website WalletHub.

In an analysis of the 150 largest U.S. Cities, four North Carolina cities scored in the top 20, with Durham coming in as the sixth-best large city in America to start a business venture.

Durham scored higher than any other North Carolina city besides Charlotte, which came in at No. 3 on the list.

The other North Carolina cities in the top 20 were Raleigh and Winston-Salem, which placed 12th and 17th respectively.

Using a mixture of government data, economic statistics and its own weighting system, WalletHub compared the largest 150 cities on 18 metrics in three categories: business evnironment (things like startups per capital and five-year business survival rate), access to resources (like venture investment per capital), and business costs (such as labor costs and office-space affordability).

The Bull City scored an overall score of 53.59 out of 100 to land the sixth spot. It ranked 14th in access to resounces, 29th in business costs and 69th in business environment.

Durham’s performance on the list was buoyed by its low cost of living (10th best) and its large share of college-educated workers (13th best).

Durham was held back most by its access to financing from banks. The city ranked 147 out of 150 in terms of its access to finance. However it made up for that in its venture investment per capita, where it landed at No. 6.

The Triangle has often been listed as an emerging market for technology startups, which often attempt to raise large amount of capital in their early days. In the past few weeks, several Durham startups have announced six-figure financing rounds, with mobile car-wash startup Spiffy raising $7.5 million and energy drink maker Mati Energy raising $2.5 million.

Other North Carolina cities making the list included Fayettvile (36) and Greensboro (56).

Oklahoma City landed at the top of the list, with a score of 56.85, and Salt Lake City was No. 2.

Seattle and Philadelphia found themselves at the bottom of the list.

Zachery Eanes: 919-419-6684, @zeanes

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