The Provo-Orem metropolitan area in Utah is a boomtown for smaller entrepreneurs. More than three quarters of the businesses in the area have 10 or fewer employees, and 18 percent of all businesses were launched between 2012 and 2014.
SmartAsset named Provo-Orem the nation’s best small or mid-size city for business owners. The site looked at metros with less than a million people and based the rankings on criteria like new business percentage, small business percentage, small business loans per 10,000 residents, and unemployment rate.
Many of the top 25 metros are west of the Mississippi River, including the entire top 10. Santa Fe, N.M. has the highest percentage of small businesses, Billings, Mont., has the highest share of small business loans, and Greeley, Colo., is only second to Provo-Orem in the percentage of all employees who work in new businesses.
Cheyenne, a metro area that’s home to 97,121 people and encompasses the capital of Wyoming, comes in a close second in our study. Our data shows that Cheyenne is a hub of small businesses. About 76% of businesses in Cheyenne have less than 10 workers, which is the sixth-highest rate in the study. And the area’s 5.1% unemployment rate is lower than that in our first place city, Provo-Orem.