Many news outlets and organizations –- often with underlying political or economic agendas – use statistical proxies for “small business friendliness” like tax rates, unemployment levels, etc. This past week a new survey conducted by Thumbtack decided to go straight to the source and poll directly small business owners throughout the country. Over 6,000 business owners responded, rating their city and state across several categories. The results were interesting, and surprisingly non-political:
- Nationwide, the best predictors of small business friendliness were not tax-code related but 1) whether the respondent was aware of the state or local government offering training programs for small businesses, 2) licensing forms, requirements and fees and 3) how the owner thinks his/her company’s financial situation will be twelve months from now.
- By state, the results varied widely. For example in California, employment labor and hiring regulations were important in determining friendliness, while in Texas more weight was placed on tax code and tax-related regulations.
- Politics has little effect. Ratings of state supportiveness did not vary significantly by political orientation. (In the survey, respondents self identified as conservative, liberal, or independent.)
- Small business owners ranked Idaho and Texas as the most business-friendly states, with Oklahoma City and Dallas-Ft. Worth taking top honors among cities across the nation. Vermont and Rhode Island found themselves on the opposite end of the spectrum, joined in the bottom-five by New York and California.
You can see the results by state and by 40 key cities here.
How small business friendly is your city/state? Share in the Comments section below.
PS. Since this month we are talking about advertising, posting your business on Thumbtack can be a great way to get at local potential customers interested in your services. As of this writing, Thumbtack helps connect over 250,000 local businesses (such as photographers, tutors, carpenters, etc.) with potential customers.