New Orleans, Pittsburgh, and Buffalo: It’s Starbucks vs McDonalds. Both serve a good cup of java. It’s cool versus cash, $3 versus $1.50, and saving ‘bucks’ adds up.
“A business needs two factors,” explained Sean Cummings, a real estate developer and founder of Startup New Orleans - an organization dedicated to bringing new business to the Crescent City “A good quality of life and low start-up costs.” His efforts have lured such firms as The Receivables Exchange, an electronic marketplace for the buying and selling of commercial receivables. For further support there is NOLA YURP (Young Urban Rebuilding Professionals.)
The NOLA native and his family were hit very hard by Katrina, but Cummings stayed on and sees potential in “second tier” cities for entrepreneurs. NOLA, Pittsburgh, Buffalo and the like all have culture and sports attractions like the bigger cities. All have theatre and top-class college and professional sports teams.” (Another important factor is that housing costs are much lower than the ‘glamour guys’.)
The Pittsburgh Regional Alliance (PRA) is your gateway to discovering why “America’s Most Livable City” is also the smartest place to locate and grow your business.
Greater Buffalo, which encompasses the City of Buffalo and all of Erie County, NY (population 954,000) was first selected as an All America City and Community in 1996, at the National Civic League's All-America City Awards competition.
And what city made #1 on the Money Magazine’ best “small cities” list? Louisville. Not the Kentucky Derby Louisville. The one in Colorado! Ice cream shops; burgers at the Waterloo Café; a Friday-night street fair with a beer garden, live music, and games that run all summer. Industries such as high tech, energy, and health care make county unemployment among the lowest in the state. Rocky Mountain National Park is less than an hour away, and eight world-class ski resorts are within two hours. The schools are highly rated and add in dry, clear weather, little crime, good health care, and low taxes.
If you’re thinking about starting a business now, Cummings advises moving to one of these second-tier cities for a first-class startup opportunity.