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4 Top Small Business Hot Spots Near Atlanta

With an educated population, low cost of living, and tons of great networking and entrepreneur-themed events, it’s no wonder why the peach state is buzzing with expanding businesses and start-ups.

Check out some of our favorite start-up hot spots around Atlanta to see where you should set up shop.


Named the best small city for starting a small business by Entrepreneur Magazine, Alpharetta is already home to some major business headquarters including UPS, ADP and LexisNexis. In addition to hosting a daytime population of 100,000 people, Alpharetta has become an evening retreat for suburban families who want a little distance from the hustle and bustle of Atlanta. Alpharetta also boasts a AAA bond rating, a distinction held by only about 200 other cities in the nation. Featuring some of the state’s finest schools, real estate, and business associations, it’s no surprise that this city has been named a premier destination for residents and companies alike.

LaGrange When personal finance company WalletHub put together their list of best & worst cities for start-ups, LaGrange came in 18th out of over 1,200. LaGrange earned its spot for a combination of low overall business costs and high availability of resources. While it only reached middle of the pack in terms of “business environment”, that position is sure to improve thanks to Georgia’s Qualified Opportunity Zones tax reform. As a selected zone, LaGrange offers unique tax incentives for businesses in the area, both new and existing. Located just an hour outside of Atlanta, LaGrange is definitely worth a look for your next business.

Decatur According to their official website, Decatur offers “small town charm with big city opportunities” and we couldn’t agree more. Decatur’s business associations and city government make moving in a breeze with a wealth of online resources, coworking options, business incubators and real estate assistance. If that isn’t good enough, the close proximity between the residential and downtown areas make the commute here one of the best in state. In fact, Decatur’s walk score even exceeds that of Atlanta! Add in the nearby international airport and nationally ranked colleges and its clear why CubeSmart named it one of the Best Cities to Start a Business in 2018.

Cumming 40 miles north of Atlanta, the city of Cumming, GA first caught our eye back in 2017 when DegreeQuery.com used U.S. Census data to name it one of the most educated cities in the US. Now, over a year later, we’re still keeping an eye on this up-and-comer. Cumming is located in Forsyth County, one of the fastest growing counties in the US today. With an active 1,000-member chamber of commerce comprised primarily of small business owners, this city is one of the most entrepreneur-friendly you’ll find anywhere. Property tax abatements, grants for green initiatives, plan and permit expedition and even complementary market research and employee skills assessments are just some of the local incentives available here. New business owners may also appreciate the city’s Business Advancement Resources (BAR) activities including education/mentoring, business round tables, and more.

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