A rural road cutting through the countryside of Pennsylvania.
The state of Pennsylvania shares a border with six other states (West Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, Ohio, New York, New Jersey), one country (Canada), and a major economic waterway (Lake Erie).
Such placement has allowed the Keystone State to flourish as a hub of industry in Pittsburgh and a center of commerce in Philadelphia.
Strategic geographic placement and a thriving economy are two things that drive people to move to a certain location. This is the case for Pennsylvania, where a population of nearly 13 million people makes it the fifth most populous state in the United States.
And, where there is an influx of people, there are sure to be small businesses.
With a greater presence of people, small businesses have a greater chance at converting residents into customers. Just as a fisherman has a greater probability of hooking a fish where there is a hungry school, a small business owner is more likely to succeed where there is a community of residents ready to spend their cash on both goods of necessity and luxury.
As Pennsylvania’s large population has already been noted, LendEDU wanted to evaluate the health of different locations for small businesses in the Keystone State.
In order to do this, we licensed data that allowed us to analyze each Pennsylvania community based on metrics deemed conducive to small businesses. The following parameters were used to judge each Pennsylvania town and city:
- Population Score (20% of final score)
- Income Score (40% of final score)
- Expenses Score (40% of final score)
Each of three aforementioned parameters contained a few sub-metrics that were used to calculate the total score for each parameter. All three total parameter scores were then summed together to get a final score. The entire scoring process is explained in more detail at the bottom of this page.
The 150 Pennsylvania towns and cities listed below recorded the highest final scores and thus were recognized by LendEDU to be the best communities in the state for starting a small business.
Best 150 Towns in Pennsylvania for Small Businesses
All data that was featured in this report was licensed by LendEDU from Onboard Informatics. Onboard Informatics’ dataset features many stand alone statistics that were utilized for this report such as population figures, tax data, and income projection figures. In total, over 500 Pennsylvania towns and cities were analyzed for this study. An arbitrary population cutoff was established at 5,000 – meaning any community with a population below that figure was eliminated from further evaluation.
The following three parameters and their respective sub-metrics were used to evaluate each and every Pennsylvania town and city based on their conduciveness towards 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)
Each Pennsylvania community’s respective sub-metric score for a specific sub-metric was ranked against all the other respective town’s sub-metric scores in the same sub-metric on a percent scale from 0 to 100. This process was repeated for each sub-metric. Later, each individual percent rank was multiplied by its weight to produce the point total. All of a given town or city’s sub-metric scores in a specific parameter were added together to get the total parameter score. All three total parameter scores were then summed together to get the final score. Communities in Pennsylvania with a greater final score were ranked higher on the list and vice-versa. Having a high score means that the city is generally a good place for small businesses owners in which they may have to take out less small business loans and can start profiting faster than other cities.