According to Roofstock, a national real estate investment and analytics firm, Jacksonville is No. 9 among major metropolitan areas for startup businesses, with entrepreneurs and self-identified CEOs accounting for nearly 10% of the businesses opening annually.
That puts Jacksonville ahead of Houston, Los Angeles, Tampa/St. Petersburg, San Diego and St. Louis, Missouri, among other cities.
In addition to the robust environment for people who want to start a new venture, there are numerous local resources to help entrepreneurs develop business plans and navigate the legal and government requirements for owning and running a business as well as mentoring, networking and marketing.
The latest addition to the service providers in the area are the Small Business Centers that opened this month in the Fleming Island and Orange Park public libraries in Clay County.
Business owners or groups can reserve the private workspaces in two-hour blocks, with a maximum of four hours per day. The centers have a conference table and provide access to computers with Microsoft Office suite, copiers, printers, scanners and Wi-Fi.
Books and online resources geared for small and startup businesses also are available. They are focused on topics including accounting, demographics, finance, human resources, investment, marketing and market research, management, manufacturing and statistics.