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Knoxville Business News Tennessee Mountain Scenery Background
June 05, 2022 | Tom Ballard

Tennessee ranks #5 nationally, Knoxville fairly high for veteran-owned businesses

We did not see this ranking until after last week’s celebration for the graduates and newbies in Bunker Labs’ “Veterans in Residence” program (see article here).

A business named HireAHelper, which describes itself as “the best reviewed moving service provider on the internet,” has ranked states and more than 125 metropolitan areas in terms of the percentage of veterans owning businesses in the respective jurisdictions, and the news for both Tennessee and Knoxville is very positive.

The Volunteer State ranks #5 nationally in terms of veteran-owned businesses with 7.7 percent of its total. New Hampshire tops the list followed by Virginia – a not surprising ranking – and Georgia at #3.

Among the cities ranked, regardless of population size, Knoxville placed #34 with 7.0 percent of its businesses owned by veterans. The next closest was Memphis that ranked #56 overall at 6.4 percent. By population, the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News region topped the listing of large metros followed by Jacksonville at #2. Fayetteville, NC ranked #1 among midsized cities followed by Augusta. Among small metros, California-Lexington Park, MD placed #1 followed by Roanoke.

Other notable rankings included: (1) Huntsville, AL at #22 overall with 8.2 percent of its businesses owned by veterans; (2) Cincinnati (#45); (3) Birmingham-Hoover, AL (#46); and (4) Columbia, SC (surprising at #84 considering it has a military base).

There were no rankings for either Chattanooga, Clarksville, or Nashville. The full listing can be found here.

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

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