Discover the top advantages of starting a business in Knoxville TN. In 2020, Business Insider ranked Knoxville, TN as one of the best places to live in America. And for those who already live or work in the City, there’s no question why this is. Thanks to its booming economy and plethora of local parks and attractions, residents enjoy a high quality of life. And with a population of 187,603 and an average salary of $43,840, it’s also a great place for business.
High Quality of Life
You will find, Knoxville is one of the best U.S. cities to live and start a business in. So, what is it exactly that makes Knoxville City and Eastern Tennessee so great? Perhaps it has a lot to do with the area’s high quality of life, thanks to its culture and natural beauty. U.S. News rated Knoxville a 6 in terms of quality of life, Business Insider’s 6.2.
From sports events and hiking trails, to music and the arts. Knoxville has something for everyone to enjoy. Let’s not overlook, there are no shortage of restaurants, coffee houses, and breweries. Downtown Knoxville features more than 90 restaurants within one square mile! With all the attractions, this would be a great opportunity for starting a business in Knoxville.
If you’re thinking of starting or relocating a business, Knoxville is an excellent city. Businesses thrive if both the companies, customers and employees are all happy. Many strive for the big paycheck, and goal like that are admirable. However, living in an environment where you are content and happy are also very important. Especially if you plan on running your own business. You should always consider when starting your own business, the area around you. Knoxville Tennessee has plenty to offer in ways of making an happy place to live.
Some of Knoxville’s best parks and cultural events include the following:
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park
- Ijams Nature Center
- World’s Fair Park
- Volunteer Landing
- Cherokee Heritage Festival
- Davy Crockett’s Birthday Party
- Asian Festival
- Bark in the Park
- Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration
- Dogwood Arts Celebration
- East Tennessee History Fair
- Hola Festival
Support From the Local Business Community
Having a great deal of support from the local community is beneficial to all aspiring entrepreneurs. And fortunately, there’s an abundance of support for Knoxville entrepreneurs in the making — including networking and mentorship opportunities. With guidance from the local business community, entrepreneurs are motivated and inspired to overcome challenges and pursue their business goals. Plus, a strong business community provides entrepreneurs with plenty of opportunities for growth. Even the local retired businessmen offer free mentorship for entrepreneurs, check out Score.
Furthermore, Knoxville is home to residents from all walks of life. And as a business owner, you have the opportunity to reach customers of various ages and marital statuses. According to data from the U.S News, about 52 percent of Knoxville residents are married, while 47 are single. About 26 percent of residents are between the ages of 45 and 64, while 23 percent are younger than 20. Approximately 17.9 percent are 65 or older. The remaining residents are between 35 and 44 (12 percent) or between 20 and 24 (7.4 percent).
With this information in mind, several local organizations serving Knoxville entrepreneurs include:
- Tennessee Small Business Development Center (TSBDC).
- Knoxville Chamber of Commerce.
- Knoxville Entrepreneur Center.
- Entrepreneurs of Knoxville (EOK).
- Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) Knoxville.
- Opportunity Knox.
- Knoxville Area Urban League.
- Knoxville Technology Council.
- SCORE Greater Knoxville.
An Educated Workforce
Also, if you’re looking for another reason for starting a business in Knoxville, it’s the City’s large pool of college graduates. A well-educated workforce means highly skilled employees, fresh ideas, increased business profits, and improved efficiency. Plus, you’ll have access to the state’s top talent, oftentimes for cheap or for free if you utilize interns.
Similarly, local colleges and universities include the following:
- University of Tennessee, Knoxville
- Johnson University
- Pellissippi State Community College
- South College
- Knoxville College
- Strayer University, Knoxville campus
- Tusculum University, Knoxville campus
- Tennessee College of Applied Technology
- Maryville College (located just outside of Knoxville in Maryville)
Affordable Rentals and Homes
For instance, Knoxville’s affordable cost of living is another reason to live and launch a business in the City. The median cost of purchasing a home in Knoxville is $295,544, lower than the national average of $315,743. Moreover, the median monthly rent in Knoxville is just $833. Not only does this make Knoxville an affordable place for you to live, but it’s also great for business.
Here are some reasons why this is true:
- Reduced entrepreneurial risk.
- Financial savings on food, entertainment, and transportation costs.
- Affordable cost of labor (workers in the Knoxville Metro earned an average hourly wage of $22.95 in 2020.
If you’re thinking of relocating to Knoxville, start by comparing neighborhoods, local attractions, housing costs, and kid-friendliness (if applicable). A few noteworthy neighborhoods include North Knoxville, downtown, Island Home, and Sequoyah Hills. In addition, Sequoyah Hills features plenty of walking trails, while downtown is home to a variety of top-rated schools. The right neighborhood for you, however, will depend on your personal and professional wants and needs.
Mild Year-Round Weather
Another thing that makes Knoxville a great place to live and for starting a business, is its mild year-round weather. Temperatures average about 77 degrees in the summer, 60 degrees in the fall, and 40 degrees in the winter. In the spring, residents can expect an average temperature of 58 degrees and about 4.5 inches of rainfall.
Also, another advantage of living and working in Knoxville. It is one of the most walk-friendly cities in the state. Also, many Knoxville attractions can be reached by foot, bike, or bus. Including the City’s local parks, museums, live venues, and restaurants. And for businesses located within the Knoxville area, this often means higher foot traffic and increased sales.
Checklist for Starting a Business in Knoxville
Ready to start or relocate a business in Knoxville? Here are some resources to get you started:
- The City of Knoxville’s Business Resource Guide
- TN Business Registration and Licensing Requirements
- Register a New Business Entity in Knoxville
- Apply for a Business License
- Complete a Home Occupation Application
Great Access Location
Above all the other attributes that Knoxville has to offer, it is a prime hub. In other words, you have connections with Kentucky, Virginia, the Great Smoky Mountains and more. Knoxville has the 640 bypass, which is an alternate route for instate 40. In addition to that, Knoxville has both I40 and I75 running through the city. These are two major interstates that are catching both north and south traffic, as well ae east and west. In other words, a fantastic traffic advantage for starting a business in Knoxville.
By now, hopefully you’re no longer on the fence about starting a business in Knoxville. The City is affordable, safe, and home to many local parks and attractions like Market Square and Zoo Knoxville. It’s a great place to live, start a family, and pursue your entrepreneurial goals! If you are a stay at home parent, you can learn more about making money from home in my article: How to make money as a stay at home parent.