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April 23, 2024

3 Maine communities top the Northeast's small cities for starting a business

Photo / PETER VAN ALLEN In a regional comparison of cities to start a business, Portland, Bangor and South Portland rank Nos. 1, 2 and 4.

Maine cities have topped another best-of ranking, though it might not be obvious at first.

In a comparison of the 1,334 small cities across the U.S. best-suited for starting a business, Portland ranks No. 189. Bangor is No. 314 and South Portland places at No. 421.

While those numbers may not appear impressive, they put the Maine cities at the top of the heap among those in the nine Northeast states. In the regional comparison, Portland, Bangor and South Portland rank Nos. 1, 2 and 4, respectively.

The national ranking, released last week by financial website WalletHub, compared cities with 25,000 to 100,000 residents according to 18 startup-friendly criteria. They included factors such as financing availability, startups per capita and labor costs, and WalletHub analysts compiled scores for each city in three categories: business environment, access to resources, and business costs.

Buoyed by inexpensive wages, affordable office space and other benefits, the majority of the top-ranked cities are in the South and the West. Cedar City, Utah, ranked No. 1, followed by St. George, Utah, at No. 2 and Fort Myers, Fla., at No. 3.

Northeastern cities came in much farther down the list.

The three Maine cities in the Northeast's top five were joined by Ithaca, N.Y., at No. 385 overall and No. 4 regionally. Poughkeepsie, N.Y., placed below South Portland, at No. 452 nationally and No. 5 in the region.

For the complete rankings and more information, click here.

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