Denver best place to work for a small business, study says


Small-business employees in Denver have it best, according to a recent study, enjoying some of the highest wages for new hires and a rising workforce.

The Mile-High City topped CardHub’s list of the Best Cities to Work for a Small Business. The credit card comparison company used 10 metrics, such as net growth, industry variety and average wages for new hires, to evaluate the state of small businesses in the 30 largest metropolitan areas nationwide.

About 97% of employers in Colorado are classified as small businesses, according to the study. Denver’s metropolitan area has almost 30 businesses with fewer than 250 employees per 1,000 residents, a workforce that’s growing at the second-fastest rate in the country. It also boasts the fifth-highest wages for new hires.


Boston and Minneapolis came in second and third, respectively. Sacramento, Riverside and Detroit came in last.

“The Motor City was the epicenter for much of the economic strife during the Great Recession,” the study said, “and while bailouts breathed new life into the city’s automotive industry, Detroit’s small business community continues to be marred by low rankings.”

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Miami, Denver and New York have the most small businesses per capita, according to the analysis. Las Vegas, San Antonio and Riverside have the least.

Riverside, along with Phoenix and Denver, had one of the fastest-growing small-business communities. Detroit, Chicago and New York came in last.

“It’s especially surprising that Riverside is on the positive side of this, as it’s one of the worst overall places to work for a small business these days,” the study said, “but the area shed so many jobs during the Great Recession that it’s bound to recoup at least some of them fairly quickly.”

Los Angeles, Kansas City and St. Louis have the most industry variety in their small businesses, while Baltimore, Miami and Washington, D.C., have the least.


CardHubData used information from the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Council for Community & Economic Research, among others, to put together its rankings.


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