How could you not love the state of Wisconsin?
The state proudly takes on the honor as “America’s Dairyland” for their prolific production of dairy products.
Or, the fact that one of the NFL’s most historic and successful franchises, the Green Bay Packers, call the tiniest TV market in all of sports, Green Bay, their home is enough to make other states envious.
But, there is one big reason why we here at LendEDU love Wisconsin: small businesses!
Wisconsin is a haven of sorts for small businesses. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, there are 440,763 small businesses in the Badger State; this is 97.7 percent of all Wisconsin businesses!
Additionally, these small businesses in Wisconsin employ 1.2 million people, or 50.7 percent of all employees in the state.
Small businesses in America’s Dairyland created 13,784 new jobs in the state in 2013. By the end of 2015, Wisconsin’s unemployment rate was 4.6 percent, which was lower than the national average.
And at the end of 2015, Wisconsin’s economy was growing at an annual rate of 3.1 percent, which was faster than the overall U.S. growth rate of 1.9 percent.
The data speaks for itself: Wisconsin is a great state to start a small business. But which communities in the Badger State are the very best for small businesses? Which communities give business owners the best chance to thrive without having to take on loads of small business loans?
LendEDU was able to find out the best 100 towns in Wisconsin for starting a small business by using licensed data that allowed us to analyze nearly 700 Wisconsin communities.
The following three parameters were used to evaluate each Wisconsin town:
- Population Score (20%, listed in table as Pop.)
- Income Score (40%, listed in table as Income)
- Expenses Score (40%, listed in table as Expenses)
Each parameter contained a few sub-metrics that were used to give each parameter a total score. Afterwards, every Wisconsin town’s three parameter scores were summed together for the final score. This is explained in more detail in the methodology that can be found below.
The 100 Wisconsin communities you will find in the table below have been recognized by LendEDU as the best towns and cities in the state for starting a small business.
Best Towns to Start a Business in Wisconsin - Map
Complete Rankings of the Best 100 Towns in Wisconsin for Small Businesses
All data used in this report was licensed by LendEDU from Onboard Informatics. The dataset provided by Onboard Informatics was used for many statistics, including the most recent population figures. In total, nearly 700 Wisconsin towns and cities were evaluated throughout the course of this study. A population cutoff was established at 2,000, and any community with a population below 2,000 was eliminated from further analysis.
The following three parameters and their respective sub-metrics were used to evaluate each and every Wisconsin community based on their environment for small businesses.
1. Population Score (Weight - 20%, Maximum Point Total - 20 points)
- Daytime Population Score - The difference in the normal population and the population that is present during standard working day hours (Weight - 10%, Maximum Point Total - 10 points)
- Population Growth Score - Forecasted population growth over the next five years (Weight - 10%, Maximum Point Total - 10 points)
2. Income Score (Weight - 40%, Maximum Point Total - 40 points)
- Disposable Income Score - The average disposable income available to residents (Weight - 20%, Maximum Point Total - 20 points)
- Income Growth Score - Forecasted income growth over the next five years (Weight - 20%, Maximum Point Total - 20 points)
3. Expenses Score (Weight - 40%, Maximum Point Total - 40 points)
- Property Tax Score - Property tax rates (Weight - 8%, Maximum Point Total - 8 points)
- Sales Tax Score - Sales tax rate (Weight - 8%, Maximum Point Total - 8 points)
- Utilities Score - Average cost of utilities (Weight - 8%, Maximum Point Total - 8 points)
- Burglary Score - Rate of burglaries compared to the national average (Weight - 8%, Maximum Point Total - 8 points)
- Property Crime Score - Rate of property crimes compared to the national average (Weight - 8%, Maximum Point Total - 8 points)
For each sub-metric category, the respective town's score in that sub-metric category was ranked against all the other respective town's sub-metric scores in the same category on a percent scale from 0 to 100. Afterwards, each individual percent rank was multiplied by its weight to produce the point total. All of a given town's sub-metric scores in a specific parameter were summed together to get the total parameter score. All three total parameter scores were then summed together to get the final score. Towns and cities with a score closer to 100 were ranked higher on the list and vice versa.