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Houston's coastal neighbor named No. 2 in Texas for small business

Houston's coastal neighbor named No. 2 in Texas for small business

Galveston beach with umbrellas
Galveston is a great place to start a small business. Photo courtesy of Galveston Island Visitors & Convention Bureau

Given the multi-tiered economy of Houston and population explosion in Austin, it might be easy to consider these two cities and counties the tops in Texas for small business. However, a new report lists a somewhat surprising county as second overall for small and growing companies. 

Personal finance website Smart Asset ranks Galveston County the No. 2 place in Texas for small business owners. Nationally, Galveston County lands at an impressive No. 5.

Little wonder, given the tourism power Galveston County generates. Consider that visitors to Galveston Island spent $883 million in 2019, which generated $1.2 billion in total business sales, including indirect and induced impacts, according to a report on the county's economic impact

Such impact also means companies were hiring: A total of 11,542 jobs were sustained by visitors to Galveston Island in 2019. This included 8,930 direct and 2,612 indirect and induced jobs, the report adds. That visitor spending directly supported 8,930 jobs in 2019, representing 27 percent of total employment in Galveston Island.

To come up with its list, the website examined federal data to zero in on three factors: the number of small businesses operating in each county, how much income they generate, and what they pay in taxes.

Smart Asset then weighed each set of data to develop an index score, with 100 being the top number. Galveston posted 42.62 percent in small business returns, 18.06 percent in small business income, and average of $7,633 in income taxes, and an overall score of 94 in the study’s small business index.

Elsewhere in Texas, Dallas County ranks top in Texas for small business owners and No. 4. in the U.S.

Courtesy of Smart Asset, here’s the rest of this year’s top 10 counties in Texas for small business owners:

  • Galveston County, No. 2 in the state and No. 5 nationally.
  • Haskell County (north of Abilene), No. 3 in the state and No. 6 nationally.
  • Titus County (east of Sulphur Springs), No. 4 in the state and No. 8 nationally.
  • Matagorda County (east of Victoria), No. 5 in the state and No. 9 nationally.
  • Goliad County (west of Victoria), No. 6 in the state (not in national top 10).
  • Glasscock County (east of Midland), No. 7 in the state (not in national top 10).
  • Stonewall County (northwest of Abilene), No. 8 in the state (not in national top 10).
  • Brooks County (north of McAllen), No. 9 in the state (not in national top 10).
  • Midland County (Midland metro area), No. 10 in the state (not in national top 10).