The Best States: #3 New York, #4 New Jersey

May 01, 2018 • 5 min read
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      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 Empire and Garden States rank No. 3 and No. 4 respectively on the list. Find out why New York and New Jersey are prime places for small business to boom. (Read all about the No. 1 and 2 and No. 5 and 6 states here.)

      #3 New York

      The small business ecosystem in New York boasts an impressive 2.1 million businesses employing 4 million workers. If New York were a country, its economy would rank as the 11th largest in the world. While the business climate in the state offers many benefits for business owners, it has its share of negatives, too. New York has some of the nation’s most egregious business costs thanks to state regulations and high living expenses. Thanks to several recent tax benefits and incentives targeted at small business, entrepreneurs are catching more and more of a break.

      New York City makes up the lion’s share of the state’s economy with as much finance, banking, media/publishing, and advertising as any city on the planet. Unfortunately, upstate areas like Rochester, Buffalo, and Syracuse have been economically depressed over that last few decades with the downfall of companies such as Kodak in Rochester, which included massive layoffs. The good news is that upstate New York is making a comeback, slowly but surely. Lower business taxes and an educated workforce are positive signs for economic development statewide.

      male barber cutting a man's hair

      New York’s Small Business Statistics

      Total number: 2.1 million
      Total number of employees: 4.0 million
      Percent of New York businesses: 99.8%
      Percent of New York employees: 50.5%

      Top 5 Industries for Small Businesses (by employment):

      Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
      Other Services (Except Public Administration)
      Real Estate and Rental and Leasing
      Health Care and Social Assistance

      Fun Facts:

      • The Woodstock Music and Arts Fair was actually held in Bethel.
      • The New York Post established in 1803 by Alexander Hamilton is the oldest running newspaper in the United States.
      • Gennaro Lombardi opened the first United States pizzeria in 1895 in New York City.

      Lendio franchises located in Rochester and Staten Island are making it easier for New York’s small businesses to gain access to the funding they need.

      Read about how a Shark Tank rejection inspired one New York entrepreneur to bite back.


       #4 New Jersey

      New Jersey’s economy includes a diverse cross section of industries. According to, the biopharmaceutical industry is the number one driver of the state’s economy. Biopharmaceutical career opportunities cater to New Jersey’s highly educated workforce and the industry encompasses everything from drugs to medical devices. Manufacturing is the next biggest industry and the state is home to more than 15,000 factories.

      According to the U.S. Census Bureau, New Jersey happens to be the most densely populated of all 50 states with 8.9 million people packed into just 7,500 miles. This creates an interesting set of challenges and opportunities for entrepreneurs. On one hand, high property demand and higher taxes force up the cost of doing business. However, the massive population provides a large, diverse market and business owners in the Garden State reap big benefits from proximity to both New York City and Philadelphia.

      barista serving coffee to an elderly couple

      New Jersey’s Small Business Statistics

      Total number: 843,989
      Total number of employees: 1.8 million

      Percent of New Jersey businesses: 99.6%
      Percent of New Jersey employees: 50.0%

      Top 5 Industries for Small Businesses (by employment):

      Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
      Real Estate and Rental and Leasing
      Other Services (Except Public Administration)
      Health Care and Social Assistance

      Fun Facts:

      • New Jersey has the most urban population in the U.S. with about 90% of its residents living in an urban area.
      • The street names in the popular board game, Monopoly, come from New Jersey’s Atlantic City.
      • New Jersey is often referred to as the diner capital of the world.

      From petroleum to day spas: read about one New Jersey couple’s journey to owning their small business.

      About the author

      Lendio's team of experts is here to help you with every nook and cranny of your business. We'll make sure you have the best advice for financing, operations, management, hiring, and much more.

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