EMPORIA (KSNT) — Smack dab in the middle of I-35 is a town that’s not so hidden anymore.
According to nerdwallet.com, Emporia ranks number five for the best place to start a business in Kansas out of 46 cities. Beating out Topeka at number 11 and Manhattan at 22.
Casey Woods, the Executive Director of Emporia Main Street, says the ranking has been a collaborative effort.
“We have a ‘start your own business’ program that is coordinated effort between Emporia Main Street, Flint Hills Technical College, and Emporia State University that has helped start over 54 businesses,” Woods says.
So what makes this town unique? Kari Crump is one of the owners of Studio 11, a funky little boutique shop located downtown.
“It takes the local people, as far as customers supporting our success, and also a combination of destination travelers getting off the interstate,” Crump says.
Many local businesses credit their success to Main Street and also the close proximity to Emporia State University and Flint Hills Technical College.
Do-B’s brings a new flavor to Emporia, all the way from Philadelphia to Louisiana.
“There is this small business development group, which I work with, and they work with anybody that’s looking to start a business,” says owner, Daryn Bontrager.
The rankings are based on the state’s business climate and overall economic health.
“We are just big enough that you can have a variety of different types of businesses, but we are just small enough that we are not dominated by the big boxes,” says Woods.
This isn’t the first time Emporia has made an appearance on the financial advising website. Earlier this year, Emporia came in at number 25 as one of the best small U.S. cities to live in.