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Entrepreneurs at Gig Tank make proposals that incorporate the city's fiber optic network.

Chattanooga is one of the best cities in America to start a business, according to a study released today by the personal finance social network WalletHub.

Among the biggest 150 U.S. cities studied for the friendliness and support for startup ventures, Chattanooga ranked No. 4, behind only Shreveport, La., Tulsa, Okla., and Springfield, Mo. Wallethub said Chattanooga was the second best city behind only Springfield for "access to resources" to help businesses.

Wallethub noted that self-employed Americans are expected to rise to more than 60 million by 2020. In order to help aspiring entrepreneurs maximize their chances for long-term prosperity, WalletHub analyzed the relative start-up opportunities that exist using 13 key metrics, such as the number of small businesses per capita, financing accessibility and the educational attainment of the local workforce.

The study found major differences among cities.

Office space is four times more affordable in Toledo, Ohio, than in San Francisco. The median annual salary is four times higher in Fremont, Calif., than in Detroit. The cost of living is two times higher in New York than in Laredo, Texas. The workforce is six times more educated in Irvine, Calif., than in Santa Ana, Calif. The number of small businesses per capita is two times higher in Miami than in Bakersfield, Calif.

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