Janine Davis

Janine Davis

Starting a small business can be a challenge. Besides the obvious of securing sufficient capital and having the right team, there is the business location. Luckily for the Carolinas, there are three cities in the Tar Heel State that LendingTree says are some of the best places to start a small business.

LendingTree conducted a study that identified the best places where small businesses are more likely to survive and thrive. And the South is well-represented. According to the study, the three best metros to start a small business are in North Carolina. On the contrary, many of the lower-ranked metros were in California. See list below.

LendingTree looked at the 100 largest U.S. metros and scored them in three categories — business climate, entrepreneurship and local economy. Each group had three individual metrics. Some of the key findings include:

Why Does Location Matter?

LendingTree experts says there is some validity to the cliche “location, location, location.” And that where you start your business can determine its success or failure. Even if you are starting a business at home or one that is strictly online, you will need to do your research. They offer these tips before settling on a location.

  • Consider the unique needs for your business. Whether it’s online or a brick-and-mortar, both have different needs and will likely require a specific location.
  • Estimate your initial and ongoing costs. Small business startup costs can differ significantly between regions, states, cities and even local neighborhoods, so it’s best to do your homework.
  • Think about your target market. Choose a location based on where you can reach your ideal customer.
  • Research any existing competition. Consider other companies in the area if you compete or complement them.  The experts at LendingTree suggest you focus on area (s) where you can fill an unmet or underserved need.
  • Look for state and local incentives or restrictions. Before finalizing your location, be aware of any government incentives and programs available to small businesses. As well as any zoning ordinances or other restrictions.

Whatever your business,  North Carolina may be a good place to start. Check out LendingTree’s results on top metros in North Carolina where small businesses can flourish.

  • Raleigh

    A business sign that word ‘Open’ on cafe or restaurant hang on door at entrance. Small business owner turning the sign for the reopening (Over 3 Million Black-Owned Businesses Thriving in the U.S.)

    Raleigh has a strong business climate score partially because of its high rate of residents ages 25 and older with a bachelor’s degree or higher — 50.8%. That is the sixth-highest in the LendingTree study.

  • Charlotte

    The Queen City has about 4.6% o residents who are self-employed and about 40% of resident who are age 25 and older and have a bachelor’s degree or higher. North Carolina’s business-friendly tax climate and healthy startup survival rate contribute to its ranking.

    South Carolina Entreprenurialsim


  • Durham

    man running small business

    Durham is the 10th-smallest metro in the study. It got high scores in business climate metrics and also ranks just slightly behind Raleigh for the percentage of residents with at least a bachelor’s degree (50.6%).

Sign me up for the V101.9 email newsletter!

Get the latest updates with music news, contests, events, and more when you become a V 101.9 VIP Member. Exclusive access to all things music and soul with your favorite throwback station.

By clicking "Subscribe" I agree to the website's terms of Service and Privacy Policy. I understand I can unsubscribe at any time.