The 8 Best Cities To Pursue a Side Hustle

Denver, USA - People walking on a pedestrianized street in Denver's LoHi district, located near to the city centre.
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Thanks to an increasing amount of remote work (even before the pandemic) and a shift toward a gig economy, more and more people are finding that they can take on a side job to earn extra income toward their goals. According to a survey by Small Biz Genius, 36% of U.S. workers already participate in the gig economy via rideshare services, freelancing and other jobs.

See: 11 Best Lucrative Side Hustle Ideas — Earn More
Discover: 20 Hot Jobs That Pay More Than $150,000

The question is, does having a good side hustle have anything to do with where you live? We looked at eight cities that are the best ones for making extra cash through your side gig.

Conway, Arkansas

The southern town of Conway, Arkansas is an excellent place for a side hustle, said business consultant Brian Nagele, CEO of Restaurant Clicks. “Conway, Arkansas is one of the best cities to start a side hustle because there’s relatively low competition in its gig economy,” he said, citing his own business success as a good example.

“Arkansas has one of the lowest costs of living across the country, with job opportunities keeping its unemployment rate below average. Fewer people are pressed to adopt side hustles under somewhat relaxed social conditions like these — and that makes your business even more profitable.”

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Related: 9 Up-and-Coming Side Hustles To Consider in 2022

Denver, Colorado

If you’re looking to find a great town with plentiful side hustles, “Opportunities abound in Denver, and huge financial gains,” said Shaun Martin, a real estate investor with We Buy Houses in Denver. Indeed, the state has one of the lowest fees for starting a business, according to Incfile, and entrepreneurs rave about the culture of entrepreneurship that exists there.

In fact, 3.4% of workers have a side hustle in the Denver metropolitan area, which adds up to about 42,915 people, each earning a median income of around $6,000.

One side hustle that’s especially lucrative in particular, Martin offered, is wholesaling real estate, “Minimal financial risk can be found in wholesaling real estate because prices continue to skyrocket and with a little patience, motivated sellers can still be found. I just wholesaled a property that netted me $45,000. The seller needed to sell, I knew a guy looking for a flip, I put them together, and BOOM.”

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Explore: 22 Side Gigs That Can Make You Richer Than a Full-Time Job

Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk Metropolitan Area, Connecticut

Small Biz Survey found that the metropolitan area of Connecticut known as Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk is high in side hustles, with 3.9% of the working population holding a side job, amounting to about 12,921 people. On average, these people make around $10,000 from their side gig, and have a median income of about $90,000 (compared to just $70,000 for all workers).

New York City, New York

It probably comes as little surprise that The Big Apple is a great place for a side hustle. As a financial hub, a destination for visitors from all over the world, and a densely populated city, there is no shortage of ways to make money here. According to The Penny Hoarder, you can do any number of things, from rideshare driving to freelancing in almost any industry to renting out your parking spot or becoming a personal shopper. Indeed, opportunities abound in NYC.

Read: Best Side Hustles for People Over 50

Raleigh, North Carolina

Another city that ranks high in side gigs, according to BackgroundChecks.org, is Raleigh, North Carolina. This southern town has about 3.6% of its population engaged in a side hustle, around 20,123 people. The median income for a side hustle is $8,000, with most of those folks earning a median salary of $72,000 (as compared to all workers at $53,000).

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Lancaster, Pennsylvania

If you’re looking for the city that sees the most economic impact from side hustles, that would be Lancaster, Pennyslvania, said Kristen Bowie, Marketing Director at Sharetown, a company that utilizes the gig economy to provide reverse logistics solutions to e-commerce companies. According to Bowie, Lancaster residents have the lowest median income, which makes a side hustle’s earnings go a long way there.

Tips: 7 Simple Habits That Will Make You Richer in 2022

Provo & Salt Lake City, Utah

Utah has several towns that make for good side hustles. Provo has a higher proportion of side hustlers compared to the rest of the U.S., with 5.4% of its population working one, or about 9,908 people. These folks are earning around $9,000 from their side hustle, with a median income of $80,000 (compared to $50,000 for all workers).

Salt Lake City is another great spot, according to Roy Morejon, president and co-founder of Enventys Partners. “Since Salt Lake is its capital and most populous city, those looking for a city to pursue a side gig in should consider it as a strong option,” he urged.

Additionally, “Utah has side hustle culture built into its fabric in a way that other states don’t, and though many of its cities are great for side gigs, Provo-Orem was shown to have the highest amount of workers with side hustles in the entire nation — quite a feat.”

Check Out: 6 Top Ways To Earn an Extra $1,000 a Month Without a Huge Time Commitment

Final Thoughts: Online Is Still Key

No matter where you are or where you go, nothing beats remote work for side hustles, according to Daniel Javor, founder and CEO of Step By Step Business, a site that supports small businesses.

“Honestly, in this digital age, where you are rarely matters when it comes to entrepreneurship,” he said. “The future of almost everything is online, and there are hundreds of online side gigs to choose from. You can do anything from online tutoring, to online personal training, to freelance writing. Some of the few side gigs you can do locally are driving delivery, which can be lucrative in any larger city, or landscaping, which is going to be better in places like Baton Rouge or Biloxi or most southern states.”

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About the Author

Jordan Rosenfeld is a freelance writer and author of nine books. She holds a B.A. from Sonoma State University and an MFA from Bennington College. Her articles and essays about finances and other topics has appeared in a wide range of publications and clients, including The Atlantic, The Billfold, Good Magazine, GoBanking Rates, Daily Worth, Quartz, Medical Economics, The New York Times, Ozy, Paypal, The Washington Post and for numerous business clients. As someone who had to learn many of her lessons about money the hard way, she enjoys writing about personal finance to empower and educate people on how to make the most of what they have and live a better quality of life.

 
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