Being a New Yorker comes with pros and cons. Living in a metropolitan area with over 8 million people can be annoying, stressful and come with moving parts, crying babies, and malfunctioning trains. Silicon Valley comes with less people, more space and plenty of venture capitalists. Seems like the better choice, right?
California has a higher sales tax that peaks at 10 percent (New York is 8 percent on average) and some opportunities may be hard to grab if you didn’t go to an Ivy League school or have up front investment cash. When you dig into the details, New York City has a lot of advantages for startups.
1. The cost of living and business is cheaper in NYC – While many people judge New York City by the million dollar apartments, there’s a lot of affordable housing within an hour train ride of downtown. Brooklyn is booming with affordable office spaces, free and co-working spaces. San Francisco and a lot of places in Silicon Valley have serious affordable housing and homeless issues, making it difficult for small businesses getting off the ground.
2. NYC is growing it’s small business programs and services – Silicon Alley, a hub of the NYC tech community, along with state and local governments, are making it easier for businesses to get registered for free programs, grants and networking. The state and city of New York offer programs that cater to women and minorities who want to be in business. Website maker Wix offers free office space and New York City’s public library has mentors and coaches that aid with finding a job and opening a business. Did I mention these services are free?
3. Silicon Valley companies are doing business in NYC – As the startup community grows, more investors are doing business in the city. Clothing, retail and real estate investors are looking for new ideas and tech talent beyond Silicon Valley. Getting the attention of bi-coastal firms can be a great advantage. Also, many New Yorkers travel to the west coast in search of money for tech business without breaking the bank on daily operations.
At the end of the business day, New York’s Silicon Alley and California’s Silicon Valley have pros and cons, but every startup needs to count the cost of both areas and figure out the real cost of doing business.