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8 Reasons To Build Your Small Business in Manchester, NH

Looking to build your business? Manchester, NH, provides entrepreneurs with an incubator environment. 

By Emily Handy on January 6, 2023

Downtown buildings in Manchester, New Hampshire.
Courtesy Manchester Economic Development Office

Looking for the perfect spot to start your small business? Manchester, New Hampshire, is an ideal city for those looking to launch, relocate or build their business. 

The city is rising in popularity with start-ups thanks to its many amenities, including its high quality of life, affordability and proximity to colleges, talent and business resources. 

Read on to see just why this dynamic city is a hidden treasure when it comes to starting a small business. 

1. Business-friendly Tax Climate

With one of the best tax climates in the country, many are choosing New Hampshire to start or build up their business. The state of New Hampshire does not have state sales tax or income tax on wages and salaries, making it extremely small business-friendly. Spending less money on taxes equals more money in your pockets for your growing business! 

Manchester, New Hampshire, downtown aerial shot at sunset.
Courtesy Manchester Economic Development Office

2. A Central Location

Manchester is situated in the heart of New England. Its proximity to Boston, just an hour away, is a huge plus. Business owners in Manchester can reap the benefits of Boston’s tech scene without dealing with all the traffic and high prices. 

Manchester is also less than an hour away from the Atlantic Coast and 90 minutes from the beautiful White Mountains.

Ashley Oberg, owner of small business Barre Life, agrees Manchester’s location is ideal. “The location is fantastic — we are close to Boston, the beaches, and mountains, but offer our own special small city dynamic that can’t be beat.”

For those needing to travel a bit further for business meetings, the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport is located just 3 miles south of the business district. 

The Foundry Restaurant located in Manchester's Historic Millyard District is New Hampshire's largest certified farm to table restaurant. Photo Source_ State of New Hampshire visitnh.gov
State of New Hampshire/visitnh.gov

3. Access to Talent

With several colleges and universities nearby, including Southern New Hampshire University, University of New Hampshire at Manchester and Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, there is no shortage of young talent ready to step into the workforce. In addition, the city’s healthier-than-average job market, good quality of life and hot housing market have also been drawing in top talent from other states. 

“Access to growing talent with our strong university and college ecosystem is one of the many reasons I love building tech companies and raising my family here,” said Jeremy Hitchcock, a venture partner and entrepreneur.

4. Small Business Resources

Manchester and surrounding areas boast an impressive array of start-up resources, from incubators to coworking spaces and beyond. Some highlights include The Center for Women & Enterprise, which offers support for entrepreneurial women in Manchester, and York IE Labs, which assists in founding new tech start-ups. 

Oberg also praises the city’s resources and dedication to its small business community. 

“The city’s economic development department has recently made small businesses a top priority. They help us navigate events in the city and let us know about beneficial opportunities for businesses, including city meetings with the mayor and other department heads, all the way to how to navigate SBA funding and more,” she said.

The popular Manchester Rail Trail. The City of Manchester continues to expand the popular trail systems throughout the city to allow seamless connections from all points of the city.
Courtesy of Manchester Economic Development Office

5. Work/Life Balance (Against a Beautiful Backdrop) 

Starting a business means working long hours. But when work is done, it’s time to play. Manchester offers an abundance of outdoor activities in the beautiful scenery New England is known for. Take a stroll or hop on your bike and enjoy one of the city’s many trails, including the popular Heritage and Piscataquog Trails. New Hampshire is a skiing haven for those looking for more action, and during the winter, residents flock to McIntyre Ski Area in Manchester. Manchester is also a short drive away from both the beach and the mountains for even more exploring. 

The NH high tech industry is a diverse sector with a focus on many subject areas spanning industries such as information technology support_services, enterprise software, consulting, hardware, medtech, manufacturing, and education. Photo So
Courtesy of Manchester Economic Development Office

6. Strong Tech Presence

For years, tech companies have chosen to call Manchester home, and more than 20 have situated themselves along the Merrimack River in what is known as the “Silicon Millyard” — the city’s homage to Silicon Valley. The city’s tech sector is dominated by small and medium-sized businesses that stimulate the local economy. Some of the successful tech start-ups here include Retrieve, LBRY and Minim, which has been voted as the best tech start-up in the city

Cat Alley in Downtown Manchester, NH. Today the whimsical alley is still a haven for cat loving street artists and their cute cats. Photo Source_ Manchester Economic Development Office
Manchester Economic Development Office

7. Affordability

Prospective homebuyers looking for an affordable single-family home with room to spread out need look no further than the Manchester housing market. This year, Manchester’s housing market topped the charts as the hottest market in the country, piquing the interest of out-of-towners looking to place some roots. According to Zillow, buyers can snag a home in the city for a typical price of $376,000. This is highly affordable compared to other nearby city markets, including Boston, where the typical home price is $720,000. 

Manchester, New Hampshire: The Currier Museum of Art. "Woman Seated in a Chair" (1941) by Pablo Picasso.– anonymously donated in 1951. Since its unveiling in February of that year, it has been the best-traveled piece in the Currier collection.
Ethos & Able Creative

8. Small-Town Feel With Big-City Comforts

You’ll have everything you need in Manchester, and you won’t have to fight for parking or sit forever in traffic. Thanks to the local colleges mentioned above, a large undergrad population fuels the city’s nightlife and entertainment. Residents have access to a world-class museum, two historic theaters, several local breweries and a burgeoning food scene. 

This article was sponsored by Manchester Economic Development Office.

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