Where's the best place to start a business? For the third straight year, the winner is Austin, Texas, according to The Business Journals' On Numbers analysis.
The list was good news for the southern United States overall, with Raleigh, N.C., Oklahoma City and Houston rounding out the top four rankings
By region, Austin won the South, Pittsburgh took top rank in the East, Minneapolis-St. Paul took the Midwest and Salt Lake City was first in the West. The study looked at U.S. Census data from 2009 (the latest data available) for businesses with fewer than 100 employees.
The Business Journals' formula looks at six components to evaluate growth and opportunity including population growth, one-year private sector employment growth, concentration for small businesses per 1,000 residents, one-year change in that concentration and one-year growth in the number of small businesses.
Notably, Austin added 170 small businesses in a year's time during the heart of the recession, upping the tally to 39,350 small businesses. Of the 100 metro areas included in the analysis, 97 saw a loss in businesses.