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Long Beach second best city in California to start a business, study says

A recent study of 100 large cities in the United States conducted by financial advisory website WalletHub found that Long Beach is the second best city in California to start a business.

Irvine took first place, Fresno came in third.

“It’s a wonderful tribute to the city’s efforts and overall its assets and resources that it has for building and growing companies,” said Andrea White-Kjoss, executive director of the Long Beach Accelerator, which focuses on attracting and supporting tech companies.

The study compared cities on three key metrics: business environment, access to resources and business costs, as well as subcategories such as workforce availability, labor costs and education levels.

White-Kjoss said she was particularly happy to see Long Beach score fifth in the nation when it comes to the availability of human capital. “We know that [Long Beach] has a great workforce, which is a big problem for a lot of companies, especially in the tech sector,” she said.

Overall, Long Beach placed 26th in the nation, with a number of Southern cities in Texas, North Carolina and Florida topping the list. In total, 17 California cities were included in the ranking.

Long Beach scored particularly well in the business environment category, where it earned 14th place in the nation, while business costs were considered more of a hurdle, according to the study.

Wade Martin, director of the Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship at Cal State Long Beach, said he wasn’t surprised by the city’s performance on either of those metrics.

“Yes, it’s going to be expensive to live here, but some of that can be offset by the cost of getting your product to market,” Martin said, noting that California bests most countries in terms of GDP, making it an attractive place to do business, despite comparably high rents and labor costs.

“Just by being located in Southern California, you’re located in an economic zone that’s in the Top 20 in the world,” Martin said. “You have advantages that come with that high cost.”

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