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Friday, July 01, 2022

Gainesville was recently named one of the top cities in which to start a new business, and it may have UF and Santa Fe College to thank.

HeroPay Academy, a California-based company, conducted a nationwide study released in February, which analyzed data from 358 cities to determine the best cities to start up businesses, said Hiro Taylor, the company’s CEO.

Gainesville ranked 39th on the list, coming in behind Kansas City, Missouri. Cheyenne, Wyoming, took first place. The study considered various factors, including unemployment rates, commute to work, cost of living and access to an educated work force, Taylor said. Gainesville isn’t the only college town ranked on the list. The cities that are home to the University of Georgia, Cornell University and Pennsylvania State University are just a few of the ones that also made the list.

“College towns have a natural advantage in a large access to an educated employee base, and that’s going to help create communities that have companies with great employees,” he said.

Greg Banks, the owner of a local insurance group that opened in July 2014, said

he was not surprised by the statistics.

“It’s a great talent pool to pull from,” he said.

Banks said he loves Gainesville because it’s the perfect mixture of small- and bigtown living, but he feels the city needs to do a little more to make it appealing to graduates.

“If you hire somebody you want them to stay,” he said. “Young talent, if it fits, is great.”

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