When you think about "best places to work" lists, typically pictures of impeccably designed office spaces with fancy amenities come to mind. But a new study instead focuses on location and considers the overall quality of small business jobs in those areas.
Financial research firm WalletHub analyzed data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics to rank 100 United States metropolitan areas according to small businesses' friendliness toward employees and job seekers.
WalletHub looked at factors including net small business job growth, industry variety, average wages for new employees and the percentage of organizations that offer health insurance.
Small businesses employ 49 percent of the private workforce, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. Additionally, these organizations make up 99.7 percent of all firms in the U.S., and they have created 63 percent of all new jobs in the past 20 years.
To see which locations are the most and least inviting for small businesses employees, check out the the interactive map below as well as the list, which is in order of overall ranking.
The Top Five
1. Charlotte/Concord/Gastonia, N.C. and S.C.
Small Business Environment Rank: 1
Economic Environment Rank: 18
2. Raleigh, N.C.
Small Business Environment Rank: 10
Economic Environment Rank: 3
3. Oklahoma City, Okla.
Small Business Environment Rank: 2
Economic Environment Rank: 21
4. Austin/Round Rock, Texas
Small Business Environment Rank: 14
Economic Environment Rank: 4
5. Omaha/Council Bluffs, Neb. and Iowa
Small Business Environment Rank: 4
Economic Environment Rank: 12
The Bottom Five
96. Fresno, Calif.
Small Business Environment Rank: 98
Economic Environment Rank: 72
97. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton, Pa.
Small Business Environment Rank: 84
Economic Environment Rank: 99
98. Toledo, Ohio
Small Business Environment Rank: 87
Economic Environment Rank: 100
99. Stockton/Lodi, Calif.
Small Business Environment Rank: 99
Economic Environment Rank: 85
100. Youngstown/Warren/Boardman, Ohio and Pa.
Small Business Environment Rank: 100
Economic Environment Rank: 95