Best Cities to Start a Business in New York

Last updated: March 19th, 2024

No state in the nation has a more storied reputation as a thriving hub of industry and commerce than New York. Throughout its history, it has been, and to this day, remains, the principal destination for aspiring entrepreneurs from the U.S. and the world over looking to achieve financial success and earn recognition in the world of business.

New York’s GDP is huge: at 1.48 trillion in 2016, if the state were an independent nation, it would rank 12th in the world.

All of this income doesn’t earn by massive corporations either, as 98 to 99% of the state’s businesses qualify as “small” businesses, their number adding up to over two million in total. The reason so many small operations thrive is due to New York’s tremendous potential for success: businesses in New York net a substantial $1.1 million per year on average, while the state boasts an excellent opportunity share for entrepreneurs.

Yes, New York’s high tax rates on income and property can be daunting for budding business owners, but organizations and resources exist to light the load. Start-up NY, a program funded by the state government, offers new businesses the opportunity to operate tax-free for ten years if located near the state’s eligible college campuses.

It’s best not to forget that New York’s economic opportunities stretch far beyond the borders of its namesake city. Smaller cities in neighboring Westchester County, like Yonkers, boast high business success rates and well-educated employee pools. Westchester is also home to a rapidly growing biotech industry, with firms bringing in over $1 billion in investment in 2016.

NYNew YorkNew York
NYMount VernonWestchester
NYWhite PlainsWestchester
NYNew RochelleWestchester

Only cities with over 50,000 inhabitants are reported in the results. Some data had to be interpolated to the county level and extrapolated to all the cities in the county. We concentrated on the following metrics to obtain our ranking: Cost of livingBest state for businessUnemploymentKauffman index, and Universities.

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