Fort Worth, along with two other Texas cities, say “Thank you for your service” to veterans starting small businesses better than most.
San Francisco-based Thumbtack, a website and app where you can find a local professional for various work, today announced the best cities in the U.S. for veterans to start a small business based on a survey of 1,300 veteran small business owners.
Austin and Houston were No. 1 and 2 respectively, followed by Charlotte, North Carolina. Fort Worth was No. 4, followed by Los Angeles.
“Time and again, servicemen and women across the country have shared with us a main reason why they became entrepreneurs: their experience in the military carried over into a career in which they control their own destiny, sometimes by equipping them with the technical skills needed in their second career, but always by ensuring that they had the ‘soft skills’ so critical to running a small business,” said Thumbtack Economist Lucas Puente. “At Thumbtack, we celebrate the 2.5 million veterans who run their own small businesses in the U.S., and encourage local governmental leadership to ensure veterans pursuing this path have the resources they need to succeed.”
More than one-in-four veterans in the workforce are running their own business, a rate that is 7.7 percentage points greater than the national average, according to the Census Bureau.
As part of Thumbtack’s 2017 Small Business Friendliness Survey, the company asked 1,371 veteran-small-business-owners on Thumbtack to evaluate their local governments’ support for businesses like theirs to determine the best communities for veterans to start, manage and grow a small business. Leadership by local governmental and political officials in the top cities are tasked with ensuring veteran entrepreneurs have the resources they need to succeed and don’t get stymied by the local regulatory or tax infrastructure.
The veterans interviewed for the study noted a military background alone isn’t sufficient to develop a thriving business; another factor they pointed to is a supportive community. The study indicates operating in a place where veteran-owned businesses are valued by clients, bankers, suppliers, and others can provide a leg up in the harrowing process of starting and growing a small business.
“Austin is a phenomenal place for a veteran to start a business,” said Thumbtack Pro Teri Young, owner of Teri Young Photography. “The community is rich with active and retired military personnel, as well as an abundance of supportive, patriotic civilians. With local programs like ‘Boots to Business’ and SCORE, the idea of becoming my own boss was a much clearer reality.”
Top Occupations for Veterans on Thumbtack (as of November 2017)
2. Landscaper / Lawncare Professional
3. General Contractor
6. Outdoor Cleaner
7. House Cleaner
8. Junk Remover
10. Window and Door Specialist
11. Flooring Professional
14. Fence Installer
17. Personal Trainer
18. Furniture Assembler
19. Concrete Professional
20. Computer and Device Repair Specialist
For more on the survey: