WAUKESHA - Waukesha came in at number six on a recent
report by NerdWallet and Entrepreneur magazine of the top American
small cities in which to start a business.
Some of the key takeaways from the report are that
fast-growing industries take root in smaller metro areas, they are
often near major cities and are within areas that have strong local
economies with an average unemployment rate of 5.1 percent. Also,
the average of median incomes is nearly $65,000, or 41 percent
higher than the overall average of all cities analyzed.
According to the results, Waukesha businesses have an
average revenue per business of $4,874,283 and 37.6 percent of
businesses have paid employees. Also, there are 6.75 businesses per
100 people in Waukesha.
The report reads, “this community of 70,775 has a
core of businesses that has made it a magnet for engineers,
scientists and other high-skilled workers. Waukesha is home to
Generac, a leader in power generation equipment, as well as GE
Healthcare, which focuses on cutting-edge technologies in health
care. With such prominent companies, it isn’t hard to attract new
entrepreneurs to Waukesha, though the City of Waukesha Chamber of
Commerce is a driving force in bringing small businesses to this
suburban Milwaukee city.”
Multiple calls to the City of Waukesha Chamber of
Commerce were not returned for comment Wednesday.
The top city in the report, Alpharetta, Ga., has an
average revenue per business of $6,908,899 and 36.45 percent of
businesses have paid employees. Also, that city has 15.07 businesses
per 100 people.
One other Wisconsin city made the list - La Crosse at
number 10. It has an average revenue per business of $2,709,859 and
43.91 percent of businesses have paid employees. The city also has
5.94 businesses per 100 people.
Russ Roberts, manager of the Waukesha County
Technical College Small Business Center, said often big businesses
like Generac and GE Healthcare started as small businesses, and
small businesses started as micro businesses.
“We have a lot of good local resources in Waukesha
County in general,” he said. “(There is) a very solid focus on
helping businesses start and grow.”
Roberts also pointed out that the city of Waukesha is
a great place to live, play, get a job and start a business.
“It has got the four ingredients in it to make it a
great city,” he said.
Being near large cities like Madison and Milwaukee
also help Waukesha.
“You have to have the infrastructure to help
businesses,” Roberts said. “In reality you have to grow them and
have resources to start and grow.”