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15 cities with the most veteran-owned businesses

15 cities with the most veteran-owned businesses

Friends stock / Shutterstock.com Editor's note: This story originally appeared on HireAHelper.According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, t

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Editor’s note: This story originally appeared on HireAHelper.

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, there are about 19 million veterans living in America. Many of these people who have served their country are starting businesses and joining a growing number of Americans who want to become entrepreneurs after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For most business owners (about 64% according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Annual Business Survey), gaining more revenue is one of the primary drivers behind owning their businesses. The number is fairly consistent across veterans and non-veterans. Interestingly, however, there are some notable differences when comparing veteran business owners with non-veteran owners on other criteria.

Compared to non-veterans, veteran business owners appreciate being their own boss, working for themselves and wanting to start their own business more. On the other hand, non-veterans are more likely to report having flexible hours and a better work-life balance as primary motivators for business ownership.

To determine the locations with the most veteran businesses, researchers at HireAHelper calculated the share of employer-owned (those businesses with paid employees) that are veteran-owned.

The data used in this analysis are from the Census Bureau’s 2020 Annual Business Survey and the Census Bureau’s 2020 American Community Survey. Researchers also included statistics on the total number of veteran-owned firms, employees and income at these firms, and the veteran population share at each location.

Here are the major U.S. metropolitan areas with the most veteran businesses.

15. St Louis, MO-IL

St Louis, Missouri
KENNY TONG / Shutterstock.com
  • Share of businesses owned by veterans: 6.5%
  • Total businesses owned by veterans: 3,366
  • Employees at veteran businesses: 43 677
  • Annual income from veteran businesses: $ 5 billion or more
  • Veteran population share: 8.2%

Birmingham-Hoover, AL

Birmingham, Alabama
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • Share of veteran-owned businesses: 6.7%
  • Total businesses owned by veterans: 1,325
  • Veterans Business Employees: 10,390
  • Annual income from veterans’ businesses: $ 1 billion to less than $ 5 billion
  • Veteran population share: 7.4%

13. Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN

Cincinnati
anthony-heflin / Shutterstock.com
  • Share of veteran-owned businesses: 6.7%
  • Total businesses owned by veterans: 2 155
  • Employees at veteran businesses: 28 780
  • Annual income from veteran businesses: $ 5 billion or more
  • Veteran population share: 7.1%

12. Tucson, AZ

Tucson
Chris Rubino / Shutterstock.com
  • Share of veteran-owned businesses: 6.8%
  • Total businesses owned by veterans: 1,069
  • Employees at veteran businesses: 12,395
  • Annual income from veterans’ businesses: $ 1 billion to less than $ 5 billion
  • Veteran population share: 10.5%

11. Tulsa, OK

Tulsa Oklahoma
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com
  • Share of veteran-owned businesses: 6.8%
  • Total businesses owned by veterans: 1,293
  • Veterans Business Employees: 12,842
  • Annual income from veterans’ businesses: $ 1 billion to less than $ 5 billion
  • Veteran population share: 8.2%

10. Providence-Warwick, RI-MA

Providence, Rhode Island
Nagel Photography / Shutterstock.com
  • Share of veteran-owned businesses: 6.8%
  • Total businesses owned by veterans: 2,264
  • Employees at veteran businesses: 30,279
  • Annual income from veteran businesses: $ 5 billion or more
  • Veteran population share: 6.2%

Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC

Charlotte North Carolina
Kevin Ruck / Shutterstock.com
  • Share of veteran-owned businesses: 6.8%
  • Total businesses owned by veterans: 3,212
  • Veterans Business Employees: 47,519
  • Annual income from veteran businesses: $ 5 billion or more
  • Veteran population share: 7.0%

8. Richmond, VA

Richmond, Virginia
ESB Professional / Shutterstock.com
  • Share of veteran-owned businesses: 6.9%
  • Total businesses owned by veterans: 1 771
  • Employees at veteran businesses: 15,375
  • Annual income from veterans’ businesses: $ 1 billion to less than $ 5 billion
  • Veteran population share: 8.7%

Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV

Las Vegas at night, with mountains
egd / Shutterstock.com
  • Share of veteran-owned businesses: 6.9%
  • Total businesses owned by veterans: 2,578
  • Veterans Business Employees: 37,474
  • Annual income from veteran businesses: $ 5 billion or more
  • Veteran population share: 8.2%

Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, IN

Indianapolis
Rudy Balasko / Shutterstock.com
  • Share of veteran-owned businesses: 7.1%
  • Total businesses owned by veterans: 2,369
  • Veterans Business Employees: 36,856
  • Annual income from veteran businesses: $ 5 billion or more
  • Veteran population share: 7.0%

5. Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD

Baltimore
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  • Share of veteran-owned businesses: 7.3%
  • Total businesses owned by veterans: 3 766
  • Veterans Business Employees: 53,920
  • Annual income from veteran businesses: $ 5 billion or more
  • Veteran population share: 7.8%

4. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV

Vietnam Veterane Memorial Wall
Orhan Cam / Shutterstock.com
  • Share of businesses owned by veterans: 7.5%
  • Total businesses owned by veterans: 8,351
  • Veterans Business Employees: 125,645
  • Annual income from veteran businesses: $ 5 billion or more
  • Veteran population share: 8.0%

Oklahoma City, OK

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Highways
Gerson Repreza / Shutterstock.com
  • Share of veteran-owned businesses: 8.5%
  • Total businesses owned by veterans: 2,476
  • Employees at veteran businesses: 20,790
  • Annual income from veterans’ businesses: $ 1 billion to less than $ 5 billion
  • Veteran population share: 9.1%

2. Jacksonville, FL

Jacksonville, Florida
ESB Professional / Shutterstock.com
  • Share of veteran-owned businesses: 8.9%
  • Total businesses owned by veterans: 2,626
  • Veterans Business Employees: 34,630
  • Annual income from veteran businesses: $ 5 billion or more
  • Veteran population share: 12.1%

Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC

Virginia Beach Virginia Traffic
Khairil Azhar Junos / Shutterstock.com
  • Share of veteran-owned businesses: 10.9%
  • Total businesses owned by veterans: 2,905
  • Veterans Business Employees: 43,697
  • Annual income from veteran businesses: $ 5 billion or more
  • Veteran population share: 16.0%

Methodology

A man studies financial data at his computer
NicoElNino / Shutterstock.com

The data used in this analysis are from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2020 Annual Business Survey and the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2020 U.S. Community Survey. To determine the locations with the most veteran businesses, researchers at HireAHelper calculated the share of employer-owned (those businesses with paid employees) that are veteran-owned. In the event of a strike, the location with the larger total number of employer-owned employer firms is ranked higher. To improve relevance, only metropolitan areas with at least 100,000 inhabitants and available census data were included. In addition, metros are grouped into cohorts based on population size: small (100,000–349,999), medium-sized (350,000–999,999), and large (1,000,000 or more).

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