MSN Money ranks Denver among top 10 cities for setting up shop

Posted by Tom Kalinski Founder RE/MAX of Boulder on Thursday, November 13th, 2014 at 8:47am.

The first step to starting up any new business is identifying the right city. And according to MSN Money, Denver ranks among the top 10 cities nationwide for entrepreneurs to set up shop.

Each of those cities offers attractive qualities entrepreneurs should look for in a home base: a strong community of existing small businesses; low living costs, specifically for self-employed people; and a well-educated workforce to ensure plenty of promising job applicants when you're ready to hire, according to MSN Money. They also all have low unemployment rates, which points to a healthy local economy.

MSN Money noted that Denver has 172 small businesses per 10,000 people; a cost of living that’s 6 percent above the U.S. average; 38.8 percent of the population with bachelor’s degrees; and an unemployment rate of 4 percent.

“A whole lot of entrepreneurs have already figured out that the mile-high city provides stable ground (and beautiful scenery) for lofty business goals,” MSN Money reports. “Denver boasts the greatest number of small businesses per 10,000 people on this list. And 58.5 percent of all its establishments have just one to four employees, compared with 54.6 percent for the U.S.

“Despite slightly higher than average living costs, the environment is quite affordable for local businesses,” the report continues. “According to consulting firm KPMG, business costs for all industries in Denver are 1.6 percent below the national average. Even better, costs for software and video game developers are 4.3 percent below average, and costs for biotech firms are 6.2 percent below average.”

"‘Denver attracts a significant number of tech companies with a combination of new incentive programs,’" George Tobjy, managing director of KPMG's global location and expansion services group, tells MSN Money.

Those incentive programs include a fund that offers eligible companies cash to create new jobs that last at least a year, as well as financing programs that will give up to half of a project’s costs if businesses locate in specific areas of Denver.

Here’s the complete list of the 10 best cities for starting a business:

Tom Kalinski 
Owner and Founder
RE/MAX of Boulder

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