Cambridge Local First

Why Cambridge, Massachusetts is a Great Place for Small Businesses

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Photo credit: Maja Hight-Huf, Iggy’s Bread of the World

Starting a small business can be scary. There are a lot of logistical and administrative factors to consider, all of which play a part in your business strategy. One of the major decisions owners must make is in regards to location. Where you decide to set up your small business could determine your failure or success. It determines the resources available to you and the market you will be catering to. So in this article, we have listed some key reasons why Cambridge is a great place to set up a small business.

Low tax rates

Starting a business generally comes with an overwhelming amount of taxes. As a new business, one thing to consider is how much you are going to have to pay to set up your firm and keep it running. One good thing about Cambridge’s residential and commercial tax rates is that they are among the lowest in the surrounding areas, and the lowest of any city in Massachusetts. Cambridge’s commercial property tax rate is at $13.71 per $1,000 assessed value. This is compared to $25 in Boston, $17.33 in Somerville and $27.69 in Lexington. Low tax rates allow you to invest your finances in other more pertinent areas of your business.

A hub of innovation

Cambridge is home to Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It’s also where more than 200 life science-related companies can be found. Because of its proximity to world-class universities and tech companies, Cambridge is a hub of innovation. Known more recently for its health tech startups, Cambridge features startup accelerators such as the MIT-led The Engine. Accelerators such as these offer great opportunities for businesses that are just starting out to flesh out their ideas, test their technology and possibly find investors. Accessibility to spaces for learning, support and innovation are crucial for small businesses and should not be overlooked.

Supportive local government offices

New businesses require a lot of administrative work, which can be daunting at first. Having supportive local government offices makes all the difference. For example, starting an LLC in Massachusetts can be done at state offices through five steps. However, these steps can be tricky if someone has never launched a business before.

The city offices in Cambridge are friendly and receptive to small businesses. They can help guide new businesses through the requirements for setting up their business entity with the state. Rachel Miller Munzer of State Park Bar says that the sense of community from city offices in Cambridge is exceptional. Despite it being a world-class city, the support and attention the City of Cambridge gives to its new businesses gives it a small-town feel.

Photo Credit: M.K. Wong, Shop Manager, GrayMist Studio & Shop

An inclusive business community

It is no secret that small businesses promote upward mobility and wealth accumulation. However, business ownership has largely been a racially exclusive field due to discrimination throughout the process of starting a business. In Cambridge, organizations are increasing their advocacy with and for Black-owned businesses. Cambridge Local First member and The Williams Agency owner Nicola Williams notes that there are various resources created by the City of Cambridge and other organizations to support minority-owned businesses. Such resources include the creation of a directory and a list of Black-owned businesses. A community that is actively trying to address discrimination and create a support system for minority-owned businesses is beneficial for the whole city’s rights and economic growth.

Post solely for the use of cambridgelocalfirst.org

By Jenny Blae

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