NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Real estate data company Clever says approximately 20% of new businesses fail in the first 12 months, and 45% won’t survive the first five years. Launching a startup is even riskier during the pandemic, which has caused more than one-third of small businesses to close since 2020.
Clever conducted a survey to find the best cities to launch a startup company, ranking Nashville at No. 15.
Clever says the best cities can help startups survive. To be successful, entrepreneurs need to build their businesses in areas with favorable tax laws, access to funding, and a local talent pool of educated workers.
Local entrepreneurs like Michael Frazier say Nashville is a great place to start a business.
"I always wanted to start my own business but I never knew what industry I wanted to go in," said Frazier.
Frazier says he's always had a taste for success. He loves bourbon and thought it would be great to be one of Tennessee's first Black bourbon makers.
"My bourbon is rich with flavor and also, it’s very, very smooth and it’s not a lot of bite so you can drink it with anything. You can drink it straight up; you can drink it on the rocks," Frazier said.
In 2020, Frazier says he started the paperwork to launch his bourbon business, Reverence Bourbon.
He says the name of the company pays homage to his upbringing.
A native from Memphis, Frazier says his mother was active duty military and served her country during 9/11. Frazier says with his mother away, his older brother at just 16 years old helped raised him.
"My family helped out as well as the whole experience drove me to want to act on my dreams and think about hard work and have the ethic to produce something," he said.
He knew he wanted to start his company in Music City. Nashville is where he graduated college at Tennessee State University, became a Metro Nashville firefighter and is now a businessman.
"Nashville has a great network of entrepreneurs, a great network of minority-owned businesses on that level," said Frazier. "I feel like why not jump here in Nashville and like everyone is going to help me expand and grow."
The Clever survey says Nashville is the best place to network with founders — 4.14 out of every 1,000 people there have the job title CEO.
Networking is something Frazier says he's been doing since the start.
"Montecristo will host my event space for my launch party February 24, and I created a relationship here with Montecristo, they’re the first owned premise company to pick up my brand in their bar," Frazier said.
The survey also includes things like business applications, filing fees and taxes. But Frazier says what really helps a business survive is hard work.
He says by March, Reverence will available in 46 states online. Frazier's launch party will take place at Casa de Montecristo Cigar Lounge & Bar on Feburary 24 at 7 p.m.