After reading an article from best selling author and small business expert Rhonda Abrams where she promotes the 20 finalist cities on Amazon’s short list for its second headquarters, I felt I had to write my opinion on the matter.

To begin, I do find it ironic that the best place to start a small business would be to follow the criteria of the largest company in the world.  While Abrams does admit this, what’s best for a large corporation shouldn’t always be what’s best for a small business.  For example, Michigan (my hometown), has the country’s largest pool of black owned businesses worth a million or more.  Why?  Because of the automotive industries push for supplier diversity.

This is only a snapshot of my point, but in essence, I believe that it’s important to look further beyond a cities “net worth” if you will and more towards what a city and state give you in terms of opportunity.  Similar to if you want to be a successful actor moving to a Los Angeles will help increase your ability to find success but if you want to be a successful actor on stage, New York may be your calling, for a small business its the same.

Picking a city based on Amazon’s criteria is one way to find success sure but its not the only way, and probably not the way you should begin in selecting the city for you.  For starters I would suggest starting local with where ever you are now.  See what opportunities are around and then look into moving abroad.  Remember we are an ever increasing global market, and a city is more of a support structure then anything.

Despite my criticism, I do agree with one point Abrams makes (which is in fact the biggest point of them all).  Basing a move simply off of low taxes and low cost is not a good idea.  As it stated with the Amazon list, “many are in high-tax, high-cost locations. While four are in the Top 10 lowest corporate tax rate states, six are in the highest. Ten are in the highest-taxed locations (and probably Toronto).  Many of these locations have high sales and property tax rates, too.”

Good information with the presence of looking for opportunity within your specialty.  Good universities, schools, and infrastructure is good, but a place with big corporations is the key.  Big corporations mean big budgets.  Often times these big corporations spend millions, sometimes billions with local business in an effort to stimulate the economy.  That’s a big plus and one worth noting as well.