Houston needs more affordable office space and lower labor costs

WalletHub today released its report on 2018’s Best Large Cities to Start a Business just in time for National Small Business Week and sweeping business tax reform recently signed into law by President Donald Trump.

WalletHub compared more than 180 U.S. cities across 19 key indicators of startup viability. The data set ranges from five-year business-survival rate to office-space affordability

Texas had three in the top 20 for the best to start a business.

“Houston narrowly missed the top 20, at number 21, so still out of 180 plus cities, a great number,” said Wallet Hub's Jill Gonzalez. “I think the reason why it wasn’t, say, in the top 20 and just missed out, is because of that last category.”

Office space is more affordable and labor costs are lower in Laredo which ranked No. 18 and Ft. Worth in at No. 20.

Gonzalez says no personal income tax in the state attracts a lot of workers, as well as a decent corporate tax rate.

“It actually ranked in the top three in terms of that business environment. Businesses are lasting there, revenues are growing. Office space and labor costs in Houston have been kind of ballooning over the past five years, so it didn’t rank too well there,” said Gonzalez.

Laredo has the lowest cost-of-living index, 77, which is 2.5 times lower than in San Francisco, the city with the highest at 193.Austin ranked second overall, but was first with business environment, business revenue, growth and maintain. Office space in the Capitol City is not that affordable.

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