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Small Businesses Rate Utah and Alabama Friendliest States, California and Illinois Among Least Friendly

Small business owners across the U.S. have spoken, and reveal Utah, Alabama, New Hampshire, Idaho and Texas as the top-five friendliest states for small business. In contrast, small business owners gave Hawaii, Maine and Rhode Island an “F,” while California and Illinois rounded out the bottom five, both earning a “D” grade.

These results are a part of the second-annual Thumbtack.com Small Business Friendliness Survey, in partnership with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. This survey, released Tuesday, is the only one of its kind to obtain data from an extensive, nationwide universe of job creators and entrepreneurs in order to determine the most business-friendly locations.

“Small businesses are top-of-mind for lawmakers nationwide, but too often their needs are more a matter of conjecture rather than actual evidence,” says Sander Daniels, co-founder of Thumbtack.com. “Some 7,000 businesses owners across the country have told us that they care about a lot more than just taxes – for most businesses, simple licensing regulations and helpful training programs are even more important to their success.”

Some of the survey’s key findings include:

  • Texas had three of the top five cities (Austin, Houston and San Antonio), while California was home to three of the bottom five (Los Angeles, San Diego and Sacramento). Newark, NJ finished last in this year’s rankings.
  • Professional licensing requirements were 30 percent more important than taxes in determining a state’s overall business-friendliness, confirming the findings from last year’s study. Furthermore, this year’s research revealed that 40 percent of U.S. small businesses are subject to licensing regulations by multiple jurisdictions or levels of government.
  • Small businesses were relatively unconcerned with tax rates – more than half of small business owners felt they pay about the right share of taxes.
  • African-American and Hispanic small business owners were significantly more likely than their white counterparts to encourage others to start a new business.
  • North Carolina was the most improved state, making strides across multiple categories and rising from a “C+’” to a “B+” grade overall.
  • The ease of obtaining health insurance was an important factor for many businesses. One-third of small business owners rated obtaining and keeping health insurance as “Very Difficult,” versus only 6 percent who rated it “Very Easy.”

For more information on these results or to view the full survey, click here.

 

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The American Society for Public Administration is the largest and most prominent professional association for public administration. It is dedicated to advancing the art, science, teaching and practice of public and non-profit administration.

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