Ten Troubled Regions That Are Bleeding Small Businesses

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Yesterday at BizEngine, I wrote about the importance of choosing a good location for your small business. Today, I want to talk about some areas you may want to avoid, given the flight of businesses from their streets and sidewalks. Then again, maybe you like a challenge.

It was inevitable in this time of mixed economic news that some areas would be hit harder than others, but it’s not particularly fun for those living and working in those areas. The challenge, then, is reviving these areas so that they can thrive and grow. As with most things involving small business, it’s going to take businesses flocking to the area and the necessary support networks being set up by the communities themselves:

Here’s a relevant quote from the CNNMoney article I’m citing here:

Out of the largest 50 areas, 10 of them sustained small business losses of 2 percent or more, according to the study.

The full list of regions:

  1. Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor, Ohio (A staggering 3 percent drop, or 1,258 businesses)
  2. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, Florida
  3. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  4. Columbus, Ohio
  5. Detroit-Warren-Livonia, Michigan
  6. Orlando-Kissimmee, Florida
  7. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, Minnesota/Wisconsin
  8. Kansas City, Missouri/Kansas
  9. Providence-New Bedford, Fall River, Rhode Island/Massachusetts
  10. Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, Wisconsin

You’ll notice some patterns here. The bulk of these metropolitan areas are in the Midwest or in Florida. The lone exception, in fact, is in the Rhode Island/Massachusetts area that clocked in at number nine. Areas like the West, much of the East coast and Texas, which traditionally have weathered the storm better, aren’t even close.

The key will be to revitalize businesses in these areas by drawing on the unique strengths of the Midwest and Florida, and to use some of the federal dollars set aside for small business to help these specific areas. When cities suffer, you can bet the suburbs and more rural areas are, too.

If you had to solve this problem, what methods would you use?

Photo credit to gerard75 at http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1357830

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