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NorCal Outpaces SoCal for Fastest-Growing Small Business Cities in California, Finds Funding Circle

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NorCal Outpaces SoCal for Fastest-Growing Small Business Cities in California, Finds Funding Circle

Updated: August 3rd, 2023

NorCal Outpaces SoCal for Fastest-Growing Small Business Cities in California, Finds Funding Circle
  • San Francisco Bay Area named as the fastest-growing region in the state for small businesses
  • Four of the top five metro areas for small business growth located in Northern California
  • Inland Empire fastest-growing region for small business in Southern California 

San Francisco, Oct. 25, 2019 –The California Rising Cities Small Business Index, launched today by Funding Circle, found that Northern California is home to eight of the state’s top 10 fastest-growing small business markets, with the San Francisco Bay Area topping the list.

The Index measures the state’s fastest-growing cities for small businesses based on multiple economic indicators—including Funding Circle lending rates and regional data on GDP, employment and income growth—and is the first in a series of state-based indices on small business growth. While traditional banks prioritize loans to larger companies, Funding Circle recognizes that small businesses fuel local economic job growth and job creation.

“California is a state of small business owners, and particularly in Northern California we see the significant, positive impact that local entrepreneurs have on our communities,” said Bernardo Martinez, Managing Director of Funding Circle USA. “Small business owners statewide have accessed almost $500 million in financing since 2015 and loan applications nearly doubled between 2015 and 2017—pointing to California as an important hub for entrepreneurial and economic growth in the US.” 

The California Rising Cities Small Business Index analyzes four data sources to determine the fastest growing cities for small business including publicly available data from the US Bureau of Economic Analysis, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, coupled with Funding Circle data on loan originations.

In the 2019 California Rising Small Business Cities Index:

  • The San Francisco metropolitan area takes the top spot in the Index, with a 36% average year-over-year growth rate in lending between 2015 and 2018. 
  • Vallejo-Fairfield and San Jose come in second and third, respectively, with a nearly 90% and 23% average year-over-year lending growth rate. 
  • Los Angeles and San Diego are also named among the top 10 fastest-growing cities for small businesses in California, and nationally, Angelinos have taken out more loans through Funding Circle’s platform than small business owners in any other city.

California Rising Small Business Cities Index – Top 10 Ranking

1. San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA
2. Vallejo-Fairfield, CA
3. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
4. Stockton, CA
5. Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario
6. Santa Rosa-Petaluma, CA
7. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA
8. Fresno, CA
9. Salinas, CA
10. Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Roseville, CA

Funding Circle is committed to connecting small business owners with fast, affordable and transparent term loans to ensure they can accomplish their business goals. Whether funds are needed for cash flow, new equipment, new hiring or other areas of growth, no time is wasted in lending to small business owners—the backbone of the American economy. To date, US small businesses have accessed more than $2 billion in financing through the online platform. 

About Funding Circle

Funding Circle ( is a global small business loans platform, connecting businesses who want to borrow with investors who want to lend, opening up the small business asset class for the first time, in the UK, US, Germany and the Netherlands. Since launching in 2010, investors across Funding Circle’s geographies — including more than 90,000 retail investors, banks, asset management companies, insurance companies, government-backed entities and funds — have facilitated fast, affordable business loans totaling $10.2 billion to 72,000 businesses globally. For more about the business, please Funding Circle US statistics here


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