The Best States: #7 Virginia, #8 Colorado

4 min read • May 03, 2018 • Chris Glenn

In honor of National Small Business Week, Lendio announced the Top 10 Best States for Small Business Lending. Based on a calculation of several key indicators among thousands of Lendio’s customers, the findings show that not only did demand for small business loans increase significantly in the last year, but business owners borrowed significantly larger amounts to help grow their operations.

The Old Dominion and Centennial states rank No. 7 and No. 8 respectively on the list. Find out why Virginia and Colorado are prime places for small business to boom. (Read all about the No. 1 and 2, No. 3 and 4, and No. 5 and 6 states here.)

#7 Virginia

Virginia has been a national leader in business for a long time. From 2006 to 2013, the state ranked No. 1 or 2 on Forbes’ Best States for Business. Plenty of big businesses call Virginia home, including Hilton and Capital One. But according to the SBA, Virginia’s small businesses employ 1.5 million of the state’s 8.47 million people. With its close proximity to Washington D.C., the regulatory climate in Virginia is business-friendly and ideal for small businesses in particular.

Virginia is the birthplace of the internet, and tech innovation in the state hasn’t slowed down. Approximately 19,500 tech firms are based out of Virginia, and the state continues to be a leader in both software and space technology. While technology is big in the Old Dominion state, agriculture is king. Spread across nearly 8.2 million acres, Virginia’s farmland brings $52 billion into its economy annually and provides close to 311,000 jobs. Virginia’s top commodity is livestock, though the state is also a leader in produce and timber production.

business owner with folded arms

Virginia’s Small Business Statistics

Total number: 706,626
Total number of employees: 1.5 million
Percent of Virginia businesses: 99.5%
Percent of Virginia employees: 47.0%

Top 5 Industries for Small Businesses (by employment):

Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
Other Services (Except Public Administration)
Real Estate and Rental and Leasing
Retail Trade

Fun Facts:

  • Virginia was named for England’s “Virgin Queen,” Elizabeth I.
  • Virginia is a leading crab and oyster producing state.
  • Seven U.S. presidents are buried in Virginia: Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Tyler, Taft, and Kennedy.

Read about how a forgotten pair of mittens became a business that gives back for one Virginia mom.


#8 Colorado

Colorado has one of the fastest-growing state economies in the country. Its GDP growth doubled that of every other state in the union in 2014. Though housing prices in the state are rising rapidly, business owners continue to thrive on the state’s economic success.

The Centennial State’s Rocky Mountain terrain provides striking natural beauty and a world-class backdrop for an outdoor lifestyle. Every year, thousands of people flock to Colorado’s Rocky Mountains to ski, climb, and hike, and entrepreneurs are constantly looking for new ways to cater to outdoor enthusiasts.

Getting access to the funding they need to grow is a challenge for Colorado’s business owners. While venture capital dollars flow into the state at higher rates every year, the competition for that money is steep. Many business owners find themselves stuck between stiff competition for VC and the unreasonably high standards of traditional banks. Colorado entrepreneurs are increasingly turning to online lenders to satisfy their growing appetites for working capital.

millennial business owner with backpack

Colorado’s Small Business Statistics

Total number: 596,210
Total number of employees: 1.1 million
Percent of Colorado businesses: 99.5%
Percent of Colorado employees: 48.6%

Top 5 Industries for Small Businesses

Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
Other Services (Except Public Administration)
Real Estate and Rental and Leasing
Retail Trade

Fun Facts:

  • The name Colorado is of Spanish origin and means “colored red.”
  • The 13th step of the state capital building in Denver is exactly 1 mile above sea level.
  • There are nearly 20 rivers with headwaters beginning in Colorado, and the Continental Divide directs each river’s course.

A Lendio franchise located in Front Range is making it easier for Colorado’s small businesses to gain access to the funding they need.

Read about how one Colorado entrepreneur turned a passion for homebrewing into his dream job.

Chris Glenn

Chris is part of Lendio's PR team and a student at Brigham Young University. As a former small business owner, he understands how tough the entrepreneurial life can be. Chris researches how tech can help entrepreneurs succeed with everything from bookkeeping to financing. When he's not in class or at the office, Chris can be found breaking ankles on the basketball court or shredding The Greatest Snow on Earth.