05/03/17 — City makes national listing

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City makes national listing

By Rochelle Moore
Published in News on May 3, 2017 9:57 AM

The city of Goldsboro is listed as one of the 250 top cities in the nation to start a small business, according to a recent survey.

LendEDU, a New Jersey-based marketplace for student loans and refinancing, named Goldsboro as the 210th best city on its list that includes other North Carolina cities, including Carrboro, which ranked highest at No. 45.

The survey included a review of thousands of cities across the United States, which were measured based on transportation and utility costs, average household expenditures, average household income, estimated percentage growth in population during the next five years and the percent of the population in the labor force.

Goldsboro outpaced other North Carolina cities, including Wilmington, which ranked at No. 211, and Hendersonville, ranking at No. 219. Ranking higher were the cities of Asheville at No. 96, Greensboro at No. 105, Kernersville at No. 109, Hickory at No. 140 and Southern Pines at No. 155.

At the top of the list of best cities to start a small business is West Hollywood, Calif. Kingsport, Tenn., rounded out the list at No. 250.

Small businesses, described as having fewer than 500 employees, make up 99.7 percent of all businesses in the nation, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The growth of small businesses and investments in downtown Goldsboro has increased since 2013 when the city was awarded a $10 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery, TIGER, grant.

From 2013 to 2016, 43 new businesses have opened in downtown, 205 jobs have been created and more than $7.8 in private investment realized in downtown's 22-block district, said Julie Metz, Goldsboro downtown development director.

"Between the city of Goldsboro and downtown business owners, there is an unrivaled commitment to the development of downtown," Metz said. "The Streetscape project and recent improvements to downtown have set the stage for downtown, but our local businesses have done a fantastic job of making it unique, diverse and appealing. They are responsible for so much of the traffic and making people want to consistently return to shop, play and even live here."

The best small cities list was released on the heels of the annual observance of National Small Business Week, which started April 30 and continues through May 6.

More than half of Americans either own or work for a small business and create and estimated two out of every three new jobs each year.

In celebration of Small Business Week, the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce, Wayne County Small Business Center and Downtown Goldsboro Development Corporation are hosting free seminars and continuing education to current and future business owners.