Each year the results of any number of surveys and indices are released claiming to provide the most accurate assessment of small business friendliness by state. The problem is that they all too often rely on proximate measures such as tax rates or regulations as opposed to direct feedback from home-based or other small business owners themselves.
Working in concert with the Kauffman Foundation, Thumbtack.com’s newest Small Business Survey promises to change all that.
Collected over a two-month period and released just today, the report provides a state-by-state overview that reflects answers to questions posed to more than 6,000 home-based and other small business owners, each of whom was asked to rank their state in a number of “friendliness” categories. The survey covered everything from overall small business friendliness, startup ease and regulatory constraints to the tax code, health/safety and licensing regulations and everything in between.
According to Sander Daniels, Thumbtack.com’s co-founder, the story small business owners tell when given the opportunity to speak for themselves is a lot more “nuanced” than the one that is generally conveyed in the media and that focuses all too often on taxes. “We were truly surprised about the importance small businesses place on licensing regulations,” he said. “It turns out tax rates are almost an afterthought for small businesses that do everything they can just to get off the ground. Well-publicized training programs and easy-to-understand licensing regulations are the best predictors of small business friendliness.”
That said, states like Idaho, Texas, Oklahoma and Utah all earned an A+ ranking when it comes to measuring just how hospitable they are to small businesses by this latest survey’s standards. On the opposite end of the spectrum, California, Hawaii, Vermont and Rhode Island ranked among the worst.
Thanks to Thumbtack.com’s fully interactive state/city map, finding out more about your state and the details regarding where it ranks on the small-business friendliness scale is simply a mouse click away. Go to the Friendliness Map now!