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Don't Overlook Small-Town Advantages

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on February 7, 2006

When you consider starting a new business, you have to consider location. More and more entrepreneurs are recognizing the benefits of starting a business in a small town. A few cost savings examples:

Purchase Power: “$1 a square foot — that’s the purchase price, not the rental rate.” I hear statements similar to this a lot as I’m touring the rural U.S. I don’t think you can get a cardboard box for that in metropolitan areas. A Colliers International Study that shows warehouse space in San Diego costs $7.60 a square foot compared to $4.60 in Chicago and $4.30 in Indianapolis. The rent would have been from $2.50 to $3.50 a square foot in my home town of 12,500. In New York City the cost to park a car is $18 an hour. In Charlotte it is $15 a day. In small towns it is zero. For a 250-day work year, that is a $36,000 savings in the small town vs. NYC.

Rural Tax Advantage: Nationwide, for a $1 million commercial building, rural areas average a property tax bill $5,000 lower than urban areas, according to the Illinois Tax Foundation.

Future Projections: A recent Brookings Institute study suggests modern industrial processes could shift to more rural surroundings, stating: “It is conceivable that much of the 7 billion square feet in industrial space that will need to be replaced and the 1 billion in new square feet needed to meet growth will occur away from where they presently exist. The impact on communities beyond the suburban fringe may be significant, especially considering spin-off development.”

Keep these savings and benefits in mind when you are looking for your business location. Let me know if you can find anything competitive in a metro area!

Jack Schultz
Agracel CEO
Author of BoomtownUSA: The 7½ Keys to Big Success in Small Towns
Effingham, Ill.

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