Affordability of office space is one of the factors that make Wichita a great place to start a business, according to a SmartAsset study. File photo Williams
Affordability of office space is one of the factors that make Wichita a great place to start a business, according to a SmartAsset study. File photo Williams

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Wichita ranks high in study of cheapest markets to start a business

By Carrie Rengers

crengers@wichitaeagle.com

December 19, 2017 02:22 PM

Everyone who is in Wichita knows it’s fairly cheap to live here, but apparently it’s also pretty economical to start a business here, too.

SmartAsset, a New York-based financial technology company, has a new study on cities with the lowest costs to start a company nationally. As a public relations person touting the study wrote, “Wichita ranks in the number four spot!”

Only Chattanooga and Knoxville, Tenn., and Greensboro, N.C., rank better.

On average, a 1,000-square-foot lease is $14,720 in Wichita. That’s actually a bit cheaper than each of the top-ranking cities and substantially less expensive than all of the most-expensive markets.

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For office space, utilities, filing fees, payroll and legal, the overall start-up cost in Wichita is $236,743.

The 10 most-expensive markets all cost more like $340,000 to $440,000.

This is the third year SmartAsset did the study.

Wichita dropped a couple of spots from the previous year due to what SmartAsset calls labor costs.

The study estimates “that the annual median cost of paying for five full-time employees would cost about $216,000 per year up from $212,000 last year.”

Still, Wichita has it pretty good, as the study shows.

“It confirms what we’ve always thought, and that is Wichita is a great place to start a business,” says Gary Plummer, president and CEO of the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce.

He says he’s happy to see the Greater Wichita Partnership taking advantage of the competitive edge the economical cost of doing business here gives the city.

Plummer says Wichita’s cost of living has always compared favorably to other places, so it makes sense that the cost of doing business would be a parallel measurement.

“It reinforces why tier two cities like Wichita are kind of the emerging opportunity around the country right now.”

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Carrie Rengers: 316-268-6340, @CarrieRengers