Three Georgia Cities on America’s Top 25 Best Neighborhoods for Small Businesses

Staff Report From Georgia CEO

Friday, October 28th, 2016

Welcomemat Services, a franchise system made up of small business owners working to enhance visibility and provide marketing support for fellow small business owners across the country, is focused on making sure that small businesses get more than just one day of support this holiday shopping season. In order to celebrate small businesses all season long, Welcomemat is proud to announce the launch of “Small Business Season” on Wednesday, October 26 with the 2016 ranking of America’s Top 25 Best Neighborhoods for Small Businesses.

“As the big box stores continue to get even bigger, it’s more important than ever to recognize and celebrate the power of small business ownership across the country” said Brian Mattingly, CEO of Welcomemat Services. “The Welcomemat Services model was built on finding a way to create more awareness and loyalty for businesses owned by men and women living and working within the community. Our franchisees have the pleasure of working with owners in some of the most vibrant and exceptional neighborhoods. We are excited to give special recognition to the 25 that stand out as being committed to a thriving small business environment – but also to remind everyone with our Small Business Season campaign that we should be celebrating and putting money back into businesses with local ownership more than just one day of the year.”

America’s Top 25 Best Neighborhoods for Small Businesses 2016:

1.    Lakewood Ranch, FL
2.    Decatur, GA
3.    Washington Park, CO
4.    Park City, UT
5.    Zionsville, IN
6.    Bloomington, IN
7.    Warwick, NY
8.    Homewood, AL
9.    Hixson, TN
10.    Plymouth, MI
11.    Lakeview, LA
12.    North Naples, FL
13.    Brookhaven, GA
14.    Mechanicsville, VA
15.    South End, NC
16.    Evans, GA
17.    Hyde Park, OH
18.    Bee Cave/Lakeway, TX
19.    Weatherford, TX
20.    St. Louis Park, MN
21.    Las Olas, FL
22.    Upper Arlington, OH
23.    Simpsonville, SC
24.    Culver City, CA
25.    Glen Mills, PA

During Small Business Season, which runs for a full month leading up to the annual Small Business Saturday celebration on November 26, Welcomemat will recognize “Small Business Champions”, local owners who exemplify the power of small business ownership, in each of the top 25 markets. These include great local stories such as Gina Cooper, owner of Spectrum Salon in Park City, Richard Sargent, owner of The Ranch Grill in Lakewood Ranch, and many more. Small Business Champions will receive a certificate and a spotlight on Welcomemat’s various social media platforms. Information about each of the top 25 markets can also be found on the Welcomemat website here:

Scoring was determined by surveying active franchisees in the areas where Welcomemat packages are sent out. Franchisees nominated neighborhoods in their community and answered survey questions based on information that included schools, local vibe, family friendliness, walkability, sense of community, etc. Other ranking data points included increase in movement throughout 2016, Welcomemat redemption levels, income levels of redeemers, and age of redeemers. Livability scores from were also used in the calculation. These areas were chosen from the over 500 zip codes Welcomemat delivers to. If full data wasn’t available, averages were used in place. Seasonality was also taken into consideration for mover counts. In the case of a tie, lower income levels were given higher priority in the ranks.

Additionally, Welcomemat is proud to announce a list of the top ten markets the brand expects to emerge in 2017. These markets score highly on the key small business support categories considered in the 2016 ranking, and factors including economic and population growth will help them when the ranking is considered next Small Business Season.

1.    Scottsdale, AZ
2.    Oak Brook, IL
3.    Shaker Heights, Cleveland OH
4.    Shawnee – Kansas City KS
5.    Evanston IL
6.    Madison, WI
7.    Chesterfield, MO
8.    White Plains, NY
9.    Bethesda, MD
10.    Great Falls, VA

“We are lucky enough to see small business success in markets across the country every day, and we take our responsibility to help improve on that success very seriously,” said Mattingly. “We hope by shining a light on some of the great stories of locally owned businesses across the country, that we can help encourage more people to shop local this holiday season and beyond.”