Area cities among best to start a small business

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

Eight Shelby County cities are among the best in the state for those looking to open small businesses, according to a list from a national lending advisory website.

Pelham, Alabaster, Columbiana, Montevallo, Chelsea, Sterrett, Helena and Maylene ranked in the top 100 of the Lendedu.com website’s best 100 towns in Alabama for starting a small business, which was published in early June.

“Small businesses not only provide that personal connection, but they also provide that personal touch to their products that makes what they are selling truly special,” read the website. “Our report used licensed data to evaluate roughly 500 Alabama communities according to a few parameters deemed important for the success of small businesses.”

While compiling the rankings, the website assigned a population score, income store and expenses score to each city, and used the scores to compile an overall score for each community. The total scores were based 20 percent on each city’s population score and 40 percent each on the income and expenses scores.

The population score was calculated based on each city’s daytime population and population growth, the income score was calculated based on city residents’ disposable income and income growth and the expenses score was calculated based on property tax rates, sales tax rates, utility rates, burglary rates and property crime rates.

Pelham was the highest-ranked Shelby County city on the list at No. 13. Pelham earned a population score of 17.94, an income score of 30.54, an expenses score of 18.57 and an overall score of 67.05.

Alabaster came in at No. 23 on the list, earning a population score of 16.61, an income score of 24.02, an expenses score of 22.99 and an overall score of 63.62.

Following Alabaster was Columbiana, which came in at No. 32 on the list, earning a population score of 16.11, an income score of 28.78, an expenses score of 18.06 and an overall score of 62.87.

Rounding out Shelby County’s showing in the top 50 was Montevallo, which ranked No. 37. Montevallo earned a 15.56 population score, an income score of 22.80, an expenses score of 23.72 and an overall score of 62.08.

Chelsea came in at No. 59, earning a population score of 12.49, an income score of 26.02, an expenses score of 20.45 and an overall score of 58.96.

Sterrett placed No. 66 on the list, earning a population score of 10.23, an income score of 23.36, an expenses score of 24.28 and an overall score of 67.87.

Helena came in at No. 86 on the list, posting a 10.92 population score, a 23.12 income score, a 20.60 expenses score and an overall score of 54.64.

Alabaster’s Maylene community placed No. 88, earning a 9.23 population score, a 22.40 income score, a 22.64 expenses score and an overall score of 54.27.