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CNNMoney.com > Small Business > Best Places to Launch

Slowest small business growth
These metro areas had the slowest small business growth rate from 2004-2007.
Rank Metro area Small business growth rate # of small businesses
(1-49 employees)
1 New Orleans, LA -7.6% 27,802
2 Gulfport, MS -4.8% 5,104
3 Pine Bluff, AR -4.0% 1,747
4 Muskegon, MI -3.7% 3,356
5 Decatur, IL -3.7% 2,441
6 Flint, MI -3.6% 8,243
7 Kokomo, IN -3.5% 2,158
8 Bay City, MI -3.3% 2,330
9 Weirton, WV -3.1% 2,438
10 Pittsfield, MA -3.0% 4,115
11 Canton, OH -3.0% 9,017
12 Anderson, IN -3.0% 2,456
13 Saginaw, MI -2.7% 4,490
14 Erie, PA -2.7% 6,157
15 Elmira, NY -2.7% 1,754
16 Wheeling, WV -2.6% 3,401
17 Lima, OH -2.4% 2,515
18 Charleston, SC -2.3% 7,129
19 Danville, VA -2.2% 2,291
20 Danville, IL -2.1% 1,544
21 Worcester, MA -2.0% 17,627
22 Youngstown, OH -1.9% 13,050
23 Carson City, NV -1.9% 2,273
24 Parkersburg, WV -1.8% 3,756
25 Ocean City, NJ -1.6% 4,063
Source: U.S. Census Bureau County Business Patterns, 2004-2007.
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The factors that matter most to me are:
 Affordable wages  Few foreclosures
 Educated workers  Low housing costs
 Low crime  High local incomes
 A growing economy  Population growth
 Growing small business population

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This year we partnered with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation to find the 50 most business-friendly communities in America.

With help from Robert Fairlie, an economist and leading scholar of entrepreneurship at the University of California, Santa Cruz, we developed a methodology and sifted through such data on factors such as per capita income, hourly wages, workforce quality, crime rates, taxes and foreclosures. More

Comments? E-mail the editors
Data partners

This package was produced in partnership with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

Foreclosure data provided by RealtyTrac.

Housing price-to-income data provided by Moody's Economy.com.