Top Cities for Small Businesses Revealed

Self employed? Working alone or in a small business? We kind of envy you. While of course, we relish our days here at UCHQ, the daily commute and the minutiae of being news desk boss at such an esteemed publication, it isn’t all fun and games. The job comes with a slew of responsibilities, not all of which we’re sure we want. (Exhibit one: The Intern. Exhibit two: The ‘umbrella’/’umbrella’ dichotomy we’re still having to explain years later.)

But let’s say, unlike us, you’ve decided that the corporate world of big business isn’t for you. So, what now? Well, new research has revealed the best cities for small businesses. And, as the popular TV show tells us, it’s all about ‘location, location, location.’ Upping sticks and moving may seem like a big step, but if you’re stepping out to work for yourself, there’s probably nothing wrong with doing so and giving yourself a change of scenery while you’re at it.

But what makes a great city to do business in, if you’re self-employed or running a small business? Well, the report looked at a number of things. First and foremost, it looked at how many other small businesses there were and the density of small businesses per capita. Maybe that’s bad for competition, but it’s more likely that having plenty of others in the same boat and experiencing the same growing pains means that there are more like-minded people to share those growing pains with.

Secondly, it looked at rent and real estate. Being somewhere affordable with sufficient people to actually dob business with is vital, after all. You can have the best business in the world, but if you’re out in the middle of nowhere with no passing traffic, unless you’re a virtual business, you’re going to be a bit stuffed. And thirdly, it looked at what external support was available. That can be anything from local chambers of commerce, business grants, breakfast clubs for entrepreneurs, flexible office space and communal working spaces, and of course, expert advice from business advisors.

So, where was number one in the top 3 places to have a small business… drumroll please!

Birmingham. Besides the prospect of acquiring the accent, it turns out this is the best city to be, if you’re setting up a small business. Glasgow, complete with its own accent challenges was second, and somewhat confusingly, London came in third (why anyone would want to be in the most expensive and overcrowded city is beyond us), but if you have a beard and run a hipster coffee bar, we can see that’s where you’d want to be.

Overseas, popular choices were Valencia and Madrid (yes, sunshine and all those public holidays – this we understand)! Vienna was number three on the list. Calm, elegant and generally free of the bucket and spade brigade, we can see why you’d want to base yourself there.

But, if your city didn’t make it onto the list, don’t despair! We can’t help with location, but if you need business support, you’re in the right place. Here at Umbrella Companies, our partners can help advise on running your business, tax, even the dreaded IR35, wherever you’re located. Although we have to say, Birmingham isn’t actually that bad, if you do feel the need to relocate.

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