Top Cities for Launching a Side Hustle

Apparently, Arizona is the best place for people to run a small, home-based business. According to a report from titled “America’s Best Cities for Side Hustles,” six cities in Arizona were within the top 30, and three were within the top 10.

Number one on the list was Salt Lake City, Utah, followed by Gilbert and Scottsdale, Arizona, and, in fourth, Madison, Wisconsin. Chandler, Arizona, placed fifth and was followed by Colorado Springs, Colorado, Seattle, and then Fremont, California. In ninth place was Raleigh, North Carolina, and in 10th, Minneapolis. The other Arizona cities in the top 30 were Mesa, Tucson and Phoenix.

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Some of the key points revealed in the report are that Minneapolis and St. Paul have the lowest unemployment rate (1.7 percent) on the list, “while Fremont, Seattle and Atlanta have the highest percentage of people who work from home,” the report’s authors said. “Nearly half (48.9 percent) of employed Fremont residents work from home, which provides a considerable amount of flexibility for those looking to start a side hustle.

“Our analysis included eight equally weighted metrics, including affordability (LLC filing fees and income tax rates), flexibility (percent of residents who work from home, average weekly working hours, and average commute time), economic environment (unemployment rate) and accessibility factors (percent of the population with broadband internet access and the percent who own a smartphone),” the report noted.

In its analysis, researchers said in the report that Salt Lake City was also ranked as a top place to start a small business. “Overall, Salt Lake City scored 78 points out of 100 due to its low unemployment rate of 2.1 percent (which is the fifth lowest on our list of cities) as well as the flexibility and time to work on a side hustle during the workweek,” the report stated. “In fact, the city has the fourth-lowest average daily commute of just 18.4 minutes, making it ideal for those who want to allocate extra time for a side hustle.” also said 95 percent of city residents own a smartphone, “which creates plenty of opportunity for those looking to jump into the gig economy, such as ride-sharing, dog walking or making deliveries. But what really propelled Salt Lake City to the top spot is its affordability. The state’s low-income tax rate of 4.95 percent combined with an affordable LLC filing fee gives Salt Lake City an affordability score of 23 out of 25.”

With Gilbert, Arizona, the report’s authors noted the growth of the Metro Phoenix area. “In fact, the metro area grew by an average of 291 people every day in 2020, according to the U.S. Census Bureau,” the report stated. “This growth, combined with affordable LLC filing fees ($50), a low-income tax rate (4.5 percent), and the majority of the population having access to broadband internet as well as owning a smartphone, makes Gilbert a top spot for those looking to start a side hustle.”

Scottsdale and Chandler also shared some of the same benefits as Gilbert. For fourth placed Madison, the city’s score of 70 points out of 100 was due “to its low unemployment rate of 2.2 percent and overall flexibility for workers looking to start a side hustle,” said.

“Although Wisconsin’s LLC filing fee ($130) is higher than the top three cities on our list, the city makes up for it by offering plenty of flexibility with an average commute of only 18.7 minutes,” the report stated. “The majority of the population also has broadband internet access (92.9 percent), which makes it a lot easier to process all those online transactions for e-commerce side hustlers.”

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