business plan notes on table

Looking to start a business? Location, location, location is key. And sometimes, many times, the best place to start a business it’s not in the big city but in the smaller ones. Of course, this is dependent upon the type of business. Small cities offer often times cheaper start-up costs, as well as less competition. So if you’re looking to start a business in North Carolina, you may want to consider a smaller city instead of Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro or another larger one. But which is best?

Our friends at WalletHub compiled a list of the best & worst small cities to start a business in. They ranked 1,300 small-sized cities in states across the country. Cities were scored on 18 key metrics, and those scores were averaged out and compiled into rankings. Metrics included things like labor costs, access to investors, and business environment. One North Carolina city actually cracked the top 10 of those 1,300 cities. And even more impressive is that all 28 North Carolina small cities featured on this list, ranked in the top 50 percent. That’s great news for anyone looking to start a business in North Carolina.

Keep reading to see each of the 28 cities and how they ranked in North Carolina as well as where they stand nationally. Want more details? Read the full WalletHub study here.

  • 1. Morrisville

    Overall Rank: 10

    Total Score: 60.05

    Business Environment:35

    Access To Resources: 62

    Business Costs: 419

    Morrisville, NC

    Find local businesses, view maps and get driving directions in Google Maps.

  • 2. Asheville

    Overall Rank: 48

    Total Score: 56.67

    Business Environment: 175

    Access To Resources: 152

    Business Costs: 138

    Asheville, NC

    Find local businesses, view maps and get driving directions in Google Maps.

  • 3. Holly Springs

    Overall Rank: 50

    Total Score: 56.62

    Business Environment:140

    Access To Resources: 69

    Business Costs: 501

    Holly Springs, NC

    Find local businesses, view maps and get driving directions in Google Maps.

  • 4. Wake Forest

    Overall Rank: 62

    Total Score: 55.68

    Business Environment:263

    Access To Resources: 49

    Business Costs: 418

    Wake Forest, NC 27587

    Find local businesses, view maps and get driving directions in Google Maps.

  • 5. Salisbury

    Overall Rank: 70

    Total Score: 55.27

    Business Environment: 228

    Access To Resources: 462

    Business Costs: 16

    Salisbury, NC

    Find local businesses, view maps and get driving directions in Google Maps.

  • 6. Mooresville

    Overall Rank: 73

    Total Score: 55.14

    Business Environment: 243

    Access To Resources: 174

    Business Costs: 184

    Mooresville, NC

    Find local businesses, view maps and get driving directions in Google Maps.

  • 7. Apex

    Overall Rank: 82

    Total Score: 54.75

    Business Environment: 274

    Access To Resources: 46

    Business Costs: 518

    Apex, NC

    Find local businesses, view maps and get driving directions in Google Maps.

  • 8. Fuquay- Varina

    Overall Rank: 85

    Total Score: 54.68

    Business Environment:330

    Access To Resources: 56

    Business Costs: 215

    Fuquay-Varina, NC

    Find local businesses, view maps and get driving directions in Google Maps.

  • 9. Garner

    Overall Rank: 87

    Total Score: 54.55

    Business Environment:295

    Access To Resources: 281

    Business Costs: 205

    Garner, NC

    Find local businesses, view maps and get driving directions in Google Maps.

  • 10. Statesville

    Overall Rank: 53.32

    Total Score: 240

    Business Environment:845

    Access To Resources: 39

    Statesville, NC

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    Business Costs:

  • 11. Concord

    Overall Rank: 173

    Total Score: 52.03

    Business Environment: 268

    Access To Resources: 488

    Business Costs: 258

    Concord, NC

    Find local businesses, view maps and get driving directions in Google Maps.

  • 12. Kannapolis

    Overall Rank: 183

    Total Score: 51.64

    Business Environment:226

    Access To Resources: 1031

    Business Costs: 162

    Kannapolis, NC

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  • 13. Huntersville

    Overall Rank: 188

    Total Score: 51.6

    Business Environment: 227

    Access To Resources: 373

    Business Costs: 484

    Huntersville, NC 28078

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  • 14. Cornelius

    Overall Rank: 195

    Total Score: 51.43

    Business Environment: 311

    Access To Resources: 455

    Business Costs: 283

    Cornelius, NC

    Find local businesses, view maps and get driving directions in Google Maps.

  • 15. Gastonia

    Overall Rank: 202

    Total Score: 51.2

    Business Environment: 279

    Access To Resources: 1001

    Business Costs: 141

    Gastonia, NC

    Find local businesses, view maps and get driving directions in Google Maps.

  • 16. Chapel Hill

    Overall Rank: 236

    Total Score: 49.98

    Business Environment: 886

    Access To Resources: 21

    Business Costs: 448

    Chapel Hill, NC

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  • 17. Burlington

    Overall Rank: 236

    Total Score: 49.98

    Business Environment: 782

    Access To Resources: 469

    Business Costs: 65

    Burlington, NC

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  • 18. Indian Trail

    Overall Rank: 240

    Total Score: 49.93

    Business Environment:328

    Access To Resources: 679

    Business Costs: 336

    Indian Trail, NC

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  • 19. Monroe, NC

    Overall Rank: 243

    Total Score: 49.81

    Business Environment: 328

    Access To Resources: 679

    Business Costs: 336

    Monroe, NC

    Find local businesses, view maps and get driving directions in Google Maps.

  • 20. Mint Hill

    Overall Rank: 267

    Total Score: 49.28

    Business Environment: 347

    Access To Resources: 783

    Business Costs: 325

    Mint Hill, NC

    Find local businesses, view maps and get driving directions in Google Maps.

  • 21. Greenville

    Overall Rank: 278

    Total Score: 48.99

    Business Environment: 854

    Access To Resources: 351

    Business Costs: 63

    Greenville, NC

    Find local businesses, view maps and get driving directions in Google Maps.

  • 22. Jacksonville

    Overall Rank: 292

    Total Score: 48.79

    Business Environment: 773

    Access To Resources: 823

    Business Costs: 72

    Jacksonville, NC

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  • 23. Sanford

    Overall Rank: 303

    Total Score: 48.65

    Business Environment:997

    Access To Resources: 693

    Business Costs: 19

    Sanford, NC

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  • 24. Wilson, NC

    Overall Rank: 308

    Total Score: 48.61

    Business Environment: 1008

    Access To Resources: 284

    Business Costs: 64

    Wilson, NC

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  • 25. Goldsboro

    Overall Rank: 332

    Total Score: 48.23

    Business Environment: 1192

    Access To Resources: 263

    Business Costs: 2

    Goldsboro, NC

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  • 26. Thomasville

    Overall Rank: 254

    Total Score: 47.83

    Business Environment:870

    Access To Resources: 1118

    Business Costs: 51

    Thomasville, NC 27360

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  • 27. Asheboro

    Overall Rank: 417

    Total Score: 46.89

    Business Environment:839

    Access To Resources: 1170

    Business Costs: 13

    Asheboro, NC

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  • 28. Rocky Mount

    Overall Rank: 569

    Total Score: 45.04

    Business Environment:1258

    Access To Resources: 386

    Business Costs: 58

    Rocky Mount, NC

    Find local businesses, view maps and get driving directions in Google Maps.

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