Strong purchasing power for Hispanics in one Johnson County community helped land the suburb on a new ranking of the best cities for Hispanic entrepreneurs.
Overland Park, Kansas, cracked the list’s overall top 25, according to WalletHub, a personal finance website that examined more than 180 cities across the United States. The survey pool included the 150 most-populous U.S. cities, plus at least two of the most populous cities in each state. (The “best” cities largely were in Texas and across the south, while the “worst” were found notably in northeast states.)
Ranking No. 24, Overland Park far surpassed fellow Sunflower State contender Wichita, which landed at No. 91.
Kansas City, Missouri, and St. Louis earned Nos. 68 and 69 rankings, respectively.
Purchasing power is a particular strength within Overland Park, WalletHub found, noting the community was the fifth-best among 182 cities in terms of median annual income of Hispanics (adjusted for cost of living).
Other considerations related to purchasing power included affordability, income growth for Hispanics, housing affordability for Hispanics, Hispanic unemployment rate, Hispanic job security, share of Hispanic residents, Hispanic population growth, share of Hispanics with at least a bachelor’s degree, Hispanic housing tenure, and city growth.
Overland Park is one the metro’s fastest-growing suburbs, with the Hispanic community increasing by more than 57 percent between 2000 and 2013, according to the city. Hispanics account for more than 6 percent of the population, according to available city and U.S. Census data.
The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City lists nearly 40 member businesses in Overland Park.
WalletHub’s ranking also considered Hispanic business friendliness, determined by the share of Hispanic-owned businesses, the Hispanic entrepreneurship rate, average growth of Hispanic business revenues, presence of Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, small business-friendliness and entrepreneurial activity index scores, industry variety, five-year business survival rate, significant startups per capita, small-business loans per total number of small businesses, average monthly rent for office space, corporate tax rank and average length of workday (in hours).
Based on those characteristics alone, Overland Park ranked No. 59 on Hispanic business friendliness, still outscoring Kansas City (64) and Wichita (83), but falling behind St. Louis (48).