Just west of Grand Rapids, Michigan, and on the shore of Lake Macatawa is the tiny area of Holland. The city, which has a population of 33,051, may not evoke the strong imagery as places like New York or Silicon Valley. But it has been named best small U.S. city to start a business, according to a new list of rankings from WalletHub.

The personal finance website compared 1,261 municipalities based on business environment, access to resources, and business costs. Those dimensions were then evaluated using 16 metrics like average length of work week, financing accessibility, and office-space affordability to calculate a grade for each city. Each urban center has a population between 25,000 and 100,000.

Holland ranked first across these categories while Suisun City, located between San Francisco and Sacramento in California, was deemed the worst place to start a business. The majority of the best cities were located in the Midwest and east of the U.S. Carbondale, Illinois, came in second and also has the lowest labor costs with a median annual income of $17,764. Meanwhile, Kenwood, Michigan, has the most affordable office space with an annual rate of $9.06 per square foot. That's 6.8 times lower than the rate in Mountain View, California, where companies like Google are located.

Published on: Apr 17, 2017