The consumer finance website NerdWallet has named Greater Bridgeport one of the best places to start a business. These studies can get a little tricky when Bridgeport, Connecticut’s largest city, is grouped into a larger population area of Fairfield County. Still, with more housing Downtown and Steelpointe Harbor under construction, new foot traffic will buoy businesses, according to two Downtown business operators featured in this video.
From city Communications Director Brett Broesder:
The study examined and analyzed 183 metropolitan areas with 15,000 or more businesses and populations over 250,000, considering six metrics to assess the top markets to open a business. In each place, the study looked at the average revenue of businesses, the percentage of businesses with paid employees and the number of businesses per 100 people, all key indicators of success.
The findings: Location is one of the most important factors in business. A business’s location shapes its customer base, its workforce and its access to capital and mentorship. The report also concluded that smaller markets pay off. All of the locations in the top 10 list have populations under one million.
Chris Jarrin, of Fruta Juice, on Fairfield Avenue in downtown Bridgeport which recently celebrated its second anniversary, said he has seen the growth. He said he even saw surprisingly steady business during the recent blizzards.
“Downtown Bridgeport really doesn’t stop,” he said. “We’re seeing a steady increase in foot traffic and only expect it to increase when the hundreds of new apartments are built. I only see it getting better once as Downtown North and Steelpointe Harbor move forward. It’s an exciting time.”
Becca Bryan, of B:Hive Bridgeport, a co-working space downtown, said she and the entrepreneurs who share the B:hive have received great support for the city and sees great potential to grow.
“Bridgeport is a great place to do business. Bridgeport is the best,” she said. “It’s got so much room to grow. There’s a lot of space and energy and interesting people. The reality is there are people moving here to start something new.”