The United States of America has forever been the West’s bastion of capitalism. A place where the free market can launch the driven, inspired and lucky from pauper to prince. For this reason, the US has always attracted entrepreneurs and business people from across the globe to build their companies, or expand their pre-existing enterprises. Bennet Nichol gives you the rundown on the country regions of this powerful nation.
Currently, to many outsiders the US may seem to be in a state of decline. With divisive politics and social unrest dominating the international news cycle, it’s understandable that foreigners now see the fabled land of opportunity in a somewhat less romantic light.
Yet, dig a little deeper and it becomes clear that business in the US is as good as ever. Outside of the political commotion in Washington D.C. or the questionable behaviour of Wall Street big wigs, everyday Americans continue to get the job done. Bypassing the Big Apple, and skirting Silicon Valley, the lesser-known locales of country America are providing ample opportunity for success and growth. If its starting a new business, holding a conference, or sourcing a new client base, outside the big cities is the place to look.
Still on top
To many, America is looking more and more like a protectionist state, wrought by political scandal and driven by celebrity politics. Yet, even despite their troubles in D.C., America’s economy continues to flourish.
According to Heritage.org’s 2018 Index of Economic Growth, the US is still home to some of the globe’s most successful businesses. It commands the top spot globally for key industries such as pharmaceuticals, computers and IT, and the manufacturing of aerospace and medical products.
These backbone industries provide the support needed to sustain America’s overwhelming entrepreneurial spirit, as it boasts the world’s highest research and development investment funding numbers.
As a nation built on libertarianism and free market economics, government intervention in the private sector remains scarce, making the US the second most “free” market out of the 32 other American regional nations. The World Bank places the US as one of the top countries to start a business, taking only 6 days to get a proposed venture through the necessary regulatory framework.
Business going bush
Travelling to the US for business, one imagines visiting places like New York, Seattle, or San Francisco, meeting high flying individuals at expensive bars, or in downtown high rise offices. However, as the big cities become more exclusive, shrewd business people are looking to replace skyscrapers with mountains and farms as the more affordable opportunities of regional America begin to entice people away from the nation’s mega-metropolises.
California’s famous Silicon Valley is home to some of the world’s leading (and largest) tech companies like Apple, Uber, Google and Facebook. Silicon Valley has been on
the cutting edge of business in America for over a decade, supporting startups and attracting business people from across the globe. Yet, as outlined by The Economist’s recent exposé, moving to the Valley to play with the big guys is losing its charm.
The success of Silicon Valley’s tech giants, and the subsequent migration of like-minded businesses to the area has driven San Francisco’s Bay Area’s cost of living through the roof. An average house price comes in at four and a half times that of the rest of the US, roughly US$940,000. In a country where the median household income is US$59,000, the Department of Housing and Urban Development considers a household earning less than US$120,000 as “low income”.
As a result, more people are leaving the Valley than entering, and clearly the costs are beginning to outweigh the benefits of a metropolitan business hub. With high speed internet connections proliferating across the nation, organisations are seeking new homes among the towns and cities of rural America – and the red carpet is being rolled out for them.
Old-fashioned country hospitality
Moving away from popular economic hubs makes fiscal sense, for both those working in the US, and those visiting. So if not San Francisco or New York, then where? Rural America is a vast place, with hundreds of counties, townships and small cities to investigate. Finding the right place to visit, or to set up a business can require a decent amount of research, finding what works for you is key to ensuring the trip is worth the time.
Across the US each state has its own economic dynamic, as many towns and cities were founded around a key resource or industry. Currently, the US Federal Government is handing more and more economic responsibility to each state, so filtering your choices for business travel or entrepreneurship by state is a good place to start.
Two states East from Silicon Valley lies in wait a haven for tech startups, entrepreneurs and visiting business people. Utah ranks at number three on usnews.com ‘Best States,’ an index that ranks states on criteria such as education, quality of life, state economics, infrastructure and fiscal stability.
Tech professionals have found a new home in the state’s capital, Salt Lake City. Nestled between picturesque mountainscape, Salt Lake City is home to just under 200,000 people. Utah offers small businesses low tax rates, coupled with affordable property prices and an abundance of graduates from the it’s three universities, making Salt Lake City an all-too attractive alternative to San Francisco’s tech industry. Utah’s capital is now known to many as ‘Silicon Slopes,’ especially since the arrival of Ebay’s headquarters in the city’s suburbs, which employs 1500 people.
If you’re looking to avoid the hustle and bustle of New York, and dive into the stunning landscapes of far North East America – look no further than Vermont. With the big apple coming in as the fifth most expensive city in the US, it’s no surprise that nearby rural communities are making every attempt to draw business people to it’s stunning environment.
All across the US, small rural towns and lesser- known cities are doing their best to reel in domestic and international business people.