While remote work may have opened up the “anywhere” workplace, there are still locations that are hotspots for building a business. In fact, the digital economy that has supported remote work is part of what’s making less-than-traditional locales attractive choices for a new concern. While traditional business centers are still humming, smaller cities and markets — and even more rural areas — are touting the perks and lifestyles that both business owners and employees are looking for.
Depending on your industry, there are hotspots all across the country that offer attractive incentives for building a business. Here, nine members of Business Journals Leadership Trust discuss some specific, up-and-coming cities with great features that business owners and investors should keep an eye on, as well as regions with characteristics that are also worth a second look.
1. Austin, Texas
Austin remains a hotspot for business owners. The city offers something that is essential for continued growth: building infrastructure that is a low lift for employees to thrive in that environment. As an employer, I made the move to purchase a historic building suited for my employees and clients. This foresight allows my teams to thrive in a place that inspires them in an incredible city. – Kathleen Lucente, Red Fan Communications
2. Dallas, Texas
Dallas is a hot spot for business. The number of available jobs and the cost of living are still great in the North Texas Area. I believe that people are also coming to Texas to work with other professionals in person so that they can collaborate and grow professionally, which would not happen remotely. – Douglas Carter, Ironside Human Resources
3. Miami, Florida
With no state income taxes, incredible beaches, entertainment and ample job opportunities, it’s no wonder people are flocking to Miami. It’s second in the U.S. for new tech company formations and it’s becoming the crypto capital of the world, all while contributing to the fourth-highest state GDP in the U.S. All this sure makes it hard not to be bullish on Miami, and it’s why I think every business needs to have its eyes set on the “Magic City.” – Michael Ayjian, 7 Wonders Cinema
4. Phoenix, Arizona
Phoenix is quickly becoming one of the most business-friendly cities in the United States. The city has a thriving startup scene with a number of incubators and accelerators working to support new businesses. In addition, Phoenix is home to a talented workforce and a lower cost of living than many cities. – Adam Toren, RaisingEmpoweredKids.com
5. Raleigh, North Carolina
I’m biased, but Raleigh is experiencing explosive growth. Top tech companies including Apple and Lenovo have already or are establishing significant operations in the area. A low tax rate, an abundance of highly educated graduates from top colleges in the area and Research Triangle Park are enticing to many companies. It’s a great area for investors to tap into emerging startups primed for success. – Colt Parsons, Insight
6. The metaverse
One of the emerging locations for businesses to have a presence is in the metaverse. Virtual worlds provide an opportunity to engage with customers, prospects and other constituents on a global scale, avoiding Covid and travel expenses. It’s still the Wild West, but it’s suited for technology-centric and decentralized organizations. – Kent Lewis, Anvil Media, Inc.
7. Locations with a large university population
If you are looking for an eager and available workforce who is talented and ready to work, I always suggest focusing your headquarters in a city that has a large university or college population. If there are lots of colleges, there is a revolving door of new workers who will help you scale every quarter. – Christopher Tompkins, The Go! Agency
8. Locations with innovation centers and social spaces
Businesses still need to find locations that are conducive to collaboration and, ideally, some in-person social interactions. Locations with collaboration or innovation centers that also offer a variety of restaurants and bars can help a business progress. – Steve Wang, Protiviti
9. Locations that offer ‘the great outdoors’
Many workers are moving city to city. However, businesses should also be paying attention to more remote, outdoor locations that have a hip, local vibe for the worker who is truly looking for that outdoorsy lifestyle balance. – Jessica Hawthorne-Castro, Hawthorne Advertising