Texas is the best U.S. state to start a small business in 2021, accounting for key factors such as business environment, access to resources and business costs, according to a new study from WalletHub.
The Lone Star State ranked second overall for its business environment, only behind Georgia. Several metrics were taken into account, including growth in the number of small businesses, entrepreneurship, job growth and average length of the workweek.
When it came to access to resources, Texas ranked 12th, reflecting metrics such as financing accessibility, human capital availability, higher education assets and the share of college-educated population.
Texas’ business costs were a little less favorable, placing the state in 32nd place. That ranking was based on key metrics like office space affordability, labor costs, corporate taxes, spending on incentives as a share of gross domestic product and the cost of living.
Following Texas in the top spot were Georgia, California and Florida, ranked in second, third and fourth place, respectively. In contrast, New Jersey was ranked as the least ideal place to start a business in in 2021.
Less stringent lockdown policies and lower costs bolstered Texas’ reputation as a business-friendly environment during the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, the state has seen an acceleration in the number of corporate relocations, fueled by unhappy business owners leaving more expensive and regulated states like California, New York and New Jersey.
In addition, the state’s reopening at 100% capacity in March, as well as the removal of a face covering mandate, have worked in tandem with the vaccine rollout to boost hotel bookings and retail activity across Houston. Office occupancy is also on the rise, and brokers say that inquiries and deal-making are ramping up, as businesses are making decisions again.
A total of 28 companies completed a corporate relocation to Texas in 2020, according to YTexas, a business network that assists companies who are looking to expand or relocate to Texas. As of July, 37 companies had already chosen to relocate in 2021, surpassing any other year on record.
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