Chattanooga has been named the city with the lowest costs for startup businesses for the third year in a row.

The Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to economic development. The Chamber's INCubator program has graduated nearly 600 startups since the program began.

The financial website "Smart- Asset" compared 80 cities based on factors like cost of labor, office space, energy, legal and accounting fees, and more. Tennessee has three cities in the top 10, and Chattanooga outranks them all.

How does Chattanooga consistently lead the nation in attracting and supporting startup businesses?

Charles Wood, Vice President of Economic Development for the Chamber, says there are several reasons.

Wood said, "You have a lower cost-of-living which allows you to hire talent, and a lower cost of real estate cost here, probably a third less than Nashville.” 

Danielle Alvarez Greer is using the city's INCubator program to help launch her family counseling business, called "Happy Family Coach."

She says the benefits of joining the Chamber include having a business coach, access to legal assistance, and cheaper rental space.

“It really helps me to see exactly what I needed to do, and how much money I need it to make to be a success," Greer said.

It took Greer three months to come up with a solid business plan, and she'll never forget the moment she got the keys to her new office

“Just wow!” said Greer. “I'm actually starting my own business. I'm not working for someone this is actually my space.”

Studies have shown that about 90 percent of small businesses fail within five years.

Wood says the best thing about the INCubator program, is the chance for newcomers to learn from those who have successfully operated a business. The goal is to help startups avoid costly mistakes.

“If you don't have folks that are actually helping you through the process, and bringing you along as you grow, it gets really challenging,” said Wood.

Greer added, “Being a female, Hispanic entrepreneur it's kind of nice to know that I have that support.” 

Recent figures from the Chamber of Commerce show a 93 percent success rate for Chattanooga’s INCubator graduates.

Other Tennessee cities on the top 10 list of lowest startup costs are Knoxville and Memphis.