Last week, popular personal finance website, WalletHub published findings of the best and worst small cities to start a business in the U.S., in which Cape Girardeau was listed as 36th on the overall “best” list. This ranking comes a few weeks after Cape was listed by business news website, Business Insider as the “most boring” city in Missouri that they said, “you can probably skip.”
We contacted John Mehner, president and CEO of the Cape Chamber, to find out a bit more on what these studies mean, and if Cape Girardeau lives up to either assessment.
“Anytime we get ranked in one of these types of things, we always look at the methodology, and that gives us a real good idea as to whether we think that the rankings have validity,” said Mehner. “And we certainly believe this one does.”
As startups have increased over the past several years, the entrepreneurial structure of the city’s economy has driven increasing amounts of activity to Cape Girardeau, especially to the downtown area. Mehner thinks this makes it an exciting place to start a business.
WalletHub looked at 3 different qualities to determine city ranking: business environment, access to resources, and business costs. 1,200 cities with populations between 25,000 and 100,000 were considered, and Cape GIrardeau was ranked in the top 25% in both business environment and access to resources. They were also ranked the 8th best city to start a business in terms of office space affordability, labor cost, and the cost of living.
“We are well aware that we have advantages in those areas, but we’re really glad when somebody else recognizes that as well!” said Mehner.
Business Insider’s statistics were determined by the number of establishments in particular areas of each city in Missouri. But, with only eight cities in the state, Mehner says that puts Cape Girardeau at a disadvantage.
“When you’re the smallest city of eight, you’re naturally going to have less establishments in certain areas,” said Mehner.
So, whether or not Business Insider thinks we’re “boring,” if you have some ideas for a business, maybe now is the time to take a chance at making those come to fruition.