Photo by Randy Caldwell/Flickr

Baltimore is one of the best cities for entrepreneurs looking to start their own business, according to Business Insider. 

The website released the list of 20 cities last week, with Baltimore coming in at number 15.

Baltimore came out ahead of larger cities like Raleigh, North Carolina and Salt Lake City, Utah, and three other cities, including Olympia, Washington; Corvallis, Oregon; and Oxnard, California. 

San Jose, California is at the top of the list for the second year in row. San Francisco came in second, and Washington, D.C. landed in third place.

Insider reviewed over 300 metro areas to determine the best cities for new businesses.

The site analyzed factors such as median household income, percent of vaccinated individuals, and increases in employment and new businesses.

From 2019 to 2020, Baltimore experienced a 29.4% increase in new business formations, in line with a nationwide trend. 

The COVID-19 pandemic spurred a record number of startups in the U.S., as Americans who were laid off or left their jobs started their own businesses. 

In 2020, the number of applications for new businesses in the U.S. totaled 4.4 million, up 24% from 2019. 

In Maryland, the growth was even faster.

New business applications totaled 80,550 from April to December 2020, up 42% from the same period in 2019. 

While the rate of new business applications in Maryland declined in 2021, the number remained significantly higher than in previous years, according to the U.S. Census Bureau

In addition to the growth in new businesses, Insider cites Mayor Scott’s plan to grow the city by 2030 among the reasons why Baltimore is one of the best cities to start a new business. 

The administration’s plan “will make the metro area more equitable and neighborhood-focused, and improve public safety, city government, and the COVID-19 response,” the site says. 

The presence of research facilities like Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland also contributes to technology and innovation in the area, Insider notes.