How Does Your State Rate on Small Business Friendliness?

How does your state rank on small business friendliness? If you run a business in California, Hawaii, Rhode Island, or Vermont you probably aren't saying "great." Those states all got failing grades in a recent national poll.

Giving the grades were more than 6,000 small business owners who were surveyed by Thumbtack.com and the Kauffman Foundation. Business owners were asked about the economic health of their businesses, their state’s overall friendliness towards small businesses, its regulations, and the availability of networking/training programs there. Thumbtack.com, a provider of online local services search directories, translated the answers into a point system and awarded small-business friendliness grades to 45 states and 40 cities.

The survey data, released this week, could be “used by would-be entrepreneurs to decide where to start their companies and by governments to determine where they excel and where they can improve,” Thumbtack.com suggests.
 
The results, presented in a color-coded state-by-state and city-by-city graphic, ranked states on overall small business friendliness and factors such as ease of starting a small business, cost of hiring a new employee, overall regulatory friendliness, and friendliness in specific regulatory areas including the tax code, zoning, licensing, health and safety, environment, and labor.

Responses to the question, “In general, how would you rate your state’s support of small business owners?” produced grades A+, A, or A- for 12 states: Idaho, Texas, Oklahoma, and Utah; Louisiana, Georgia, Virginia, New Hampshire; Nebraska, Alabama, Kansas, and Arkansas.

The 12 states that ranked a D+, D, or F on that measure include the four failing states mentioned above, as well as Ohio, Maine, New Jersey, and Illinois; and Massachusetts, Connecticut, Michigan, and New York.
 
Cities ranked best for small business by business owners are Oklahoma City, Dallas-Ft. Worth, and San Antonio. Worst are Los Angeles, San Diego, and Sacramento.

For more results see the Thumbtack.com Small Business Survey.

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