It’s that time of year again—Valentine’s Day is around the corner.
Whether you're single, coupled up or you just love receiving chocolate in heart-shaped boxes, we can all agree on one thing: we love Chattanooga. In the spirit of this love-filled “holiday,” we’re reflecting on the many reasons why small businesses thrive here. Here are our top five reasons that small businesses love Chattanooga:
1. We’re a cheap date. While the bill for date night in many cities can quickly add up, a night out in Chattanooga won’t leave you eating instant ramen the rest of the week. Chattanooga boasts affordability for both business and living costs. According to SmartAsset, Chattanooga ranks as the No. 1 city for low startup costs. Thanks to low rent, utilities and legal fees (among other things), a first-year startup in Chattanooga can do business for $225,442. Chattanooga also boasts an overall lower cost of living in comparison to the national average, especially when it comes to housing—the average median home price is $172,000. You’re welcome.
2. We nurture our relationships. Every successful relationship requires time and energy, and the same is true for every successful business. That’s why we provide entrepreneurs and other business owners with a variety of resources needed to keep their businesses growing. From the Hamilton County Business Development Center’s INCubator—the largest in the state of Tennessee—to the availability of venture capital from a number of sources like the Dynamo Fund, the JumpFund and the Chattanooga Renaissance Fund, businesses in Chattanooga have the tools they need to succeed. Chattanooga offers companies different paths to growth, from programs like the Chamber’s networking events to flexible workspaces like those in the Society of Work, which offers a range of office sizes and spaces for entrepreneurs and is located in the Edney Innovation Center in the heart of the city’s Innovation District.
3. We make it easy to binge Netflix on date night. When it comes to cuddling up with your loved one and watching the entire season of “Stranger Things” on Netflix, there’s no better place than Chattanooga. With our high-speed gigabit internet connection, you’ll never have to deal with slow load times. Businesses and residents in Chattanooga benefit from EPB’s fiber-optic network, which now offers up to 10-gig speeds—fast enough to stream 1,754 HD movies simultaneously. To make things even better, our gig ranks No. 6 in the world for connection speed relative to its price, and No. 1 in the country.
4. You’ll find plenty of fish in the sea here. Whether you’re looking for that special someone to settle down with or coding talent for your new startup, there are plenty of options in Chattanooga. Home to 12 accredited higher education institutions with a variety of programs, including University of Tennessee-Chattanooga and Chattanooga State, Chattanooga offers businesses a pool of talented workers both in the city and beyond. With our strategic location (proximity to Atlanta, Nashville, Knoxville and Huntsville)—employers can recruit top talent from area colleges and universities, including Georgia Tech, Emory and Vanderbilt. Beyond traditional higher education, Chattanooga residents have access to programs like Center Centre, a user experience (UX) design school.
5. We guarantee date nights fit for foodies and adventurers alike. Living in Chattanooga, you’ll never run out of options for date night. Chattanooga has twice been voted OUTSIDE Magazine’s “Best Town Ever” thanks to its robust outdoors scene and active lifestyle. And with a growing number of restaurants and bars, Chattanooga offers the amenities of a larger city for a lower price.