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7 Best Markets for Outside Funding

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(Related: How Doctors, Lawyers Are Different From Other Wealthy Clients)

The financing spigots flow a lot more freely for businesses in some U.S. markets than in others.

The U.S. Census Bureau shows how well the cash pipes are working in a business financing table based on copyright-free survey data for 2015.

The bureau began asking owners throughout the country many nosy questions, for the Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs, starting in 2014. Owners have to tell the bureau about their websites, their employee benefits, their employees’ tasks, and their under-performing employees.

Owners also have to tell the bureau where they get the capital to run their businesses.

A business can rank in the bureau’s top outside-financing category by getting just $250,000 in financing from a bank, or from investors, in the previous year.

The range for 2015, the most recent year for which results are available, runs from just 72 businesses with high levels of outside funding per 100,000 residents, in the Riverside, California, area, to 167 per 100,000 residents, in a Northwestern market whose name might surprise you.

U.S. businesses are much more likely to get funding from banks than from investors, even in Silicon Valley —  the metropolitan statistical area (MSA) that includes San Jose, California.

Because banks are so much bigger players in business investing than investors are, the Silicon Valley MSA ranks just 12th in terms of the population-adjusted outside business funding rate.

The Seattle MSA — the home of Microsoft — ranks just 10th.

Three of the MSAs in the top seven are traditional industrial towns.

For financial professionals who want to sell products such as life insurance or annuities, or to attract financial planning clients, the outside-financing data might provide clues about which prospects need which serves where.

Interpreting the data may take some work. Riverside, for example, might have a low level of outside business funding because it’s more of a suburb of Los Angeles than a center of commerce. Some communities with high levels of outside funding may have a high demand for outside funding because many local businesses are losing money hand over fist.

But, in MSAs with healthy businesses and surprisingly high levels of outside business financing, owners and executives may have unmet needs for growth-oriented advice, due to financial services providers’ general lack of awareness of those markets’ high business funding levels.

In MSAs with surprisingly weak levels of outside business financing, and surprisingly weak businesses, owners and executives may need extra help with downsizing and asset-protection arrangements.

— Read Census Table Shows 37-Year-Olds Are Great Prospects on ThinkAdvisor.

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