Working at home was already on the rise before the coronavirus pandemic and government-mandated shutdown of most businesses. This has left many unemployed, and self-employment is a viable alternative to waiting for yet another modest check from the government. Here are the top cities you can start a business in from your apartment.
Atlanta has a number of things going for it. It is a rapidly growing Southern city, attracting new business and new residents thanks to its low cost of real estate. The area already had a higher proportion of work-at-home employees, because traffic into downtown Atlanta was atrocious.
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Atlanta freelancers were almost five percent of the workforce before the pandemic because they have up to a third of their income left after paying work expenses.
An interesting quirk of the local job market is how many freelancers work in construction instead of the tech industry, whether they’re drafters, architects, or construction managers. But the area is seeing increasing tech employment, too.
Louisville, Kentucky was ranked one of the five best places for freelancers working at home by Nerdwallet. Its low cost of living due to low rents and low tax rates were one factor.
The area’s relatively low telecom and health insurance costs also factored into the equation that makes Louisville one of the best places for people working from home.
New York City, New York
Apartments in New York are notoriously small, though you can find larger ones on Long Island and in Brooklyn. This means you may not be able to run a clothing boutique out of a spare bedroom because you don’t have a spare bedroom. Likewise, you can’t run your business out of your garage if you don’t have a garage.
However, a service-oriented business can be run out of an apartment, if you’re able to work entirely online. For example, life coaches, counselors, beauty consultants and SEO services require little more than a computer and know-how.
If there were complimentary services that your customers were interested in before the shutdown, start offering them to your customers now. If you can provide a steady stream of advice, no matter what the topic, you could create a subscription-only website or newsletter while working out of your NYC apartment.
If you already have a job, it isn’t going to be difficult to convince your employer to let you work from home given the risks of exposure and the high cost of commercial real estate in New York.
Texas is making headlines for all the large businesses choosing to move there from California. It is attracting these businesses due to its relatively low cost of real estate and low tax rates.
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Dallas is part of a large, sprawling metropolitan area. This has contributed to more people working from home part-time or full-time. The area is also very friendly to freelancers. For example, it has a lot of co-working spaces.
One industry survey found that nearly ten percent of Austin’s population was working remotely before the coronavirus outbreak and government-mandated shutdowns.
That made it third in the nation for the percentage of the workforce that worked from home, just behind Silicon Valley.
That’s understandable given that Austin is nicknamed Silicon Prairie for all the tech companies located in the area. It is cheaper than California, it has faster than average wi-fi, and it is relatively family-friendly.