Survey findings and summary
Thumbtack, in partnership with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, has released
the results from the third annual Thumbtack.com Small Business Friendliness Survey.
The study, drawing upon data from over 12,000 small business owners, provides new
insights into state and local business environments across the nation.
"Creating a business climate that is welcoming to small, dynamic businesses is
more important than ever, but rarely does anyone ask small business owners
themselves about what makes for a pro-entrepreneur environment," says Jon Lieber,
Chief Economist of Thumbtack. "Thousands of small business owners across the
country told us that the keys to a pro-growth environment are ease of compliance
with tax and regulatory systems and helpful training programs."
Some of the survey's key findings include:
Utah, Idaho, Texas, Virginia and Louisiana gave their states the highest
rating for friendliness to small business. Small businesses in Colorado
Springs, Boise and Houston gave their cities the highest ratings.
In contrast, small business owners gave California, Rhode Island and Illinois
an "F," while Connecticut and New Jersey both earned a "D" grade. Sacramento,
Providence and Buffalo were the survey's worst-performing cities as rated by
their small business owners.
Small businesses in Texas, Utah and Idaho have rated their states in the top
five every year this survey has run, while California and Rhode Island have
been rated in the bottom five every year.
The friendliness of professional licensing requirements was the most important
regulatory issue in determining a state's overall friendliness to small
businesses. Closely following licensing requirements was the ease of filing
Once again, tax rates was a less important factor than the ease of regulatory
compliance in determining the overall friendliness score of a jurisdiction.
Two-thirds of respondents said they paid their "fair share" of taxes –
that is, they felt like they were neither under-paying nor over-paying.
Small business owners who were aware of training programs offered by their
government were significantly more likely to say their government was friendly
to small business than those who weren't. Awareness of training programs
raised overall scores by 10 percent, while 76 percent of those who said they
were aware of government-sponsored training programs for business owners
ranked their local government as "somewhat" or "very supportive," and only 8
percent of these said local government was unsupportive.
"It is critical to the economic health of every city and state to create an
entrepreneur-friendly environment," said Dane Stangler, vice president of Research
and Policy at the Kauffman Foundation. "Policymakers put themselves in the best
position to encourage sustainable growth and long-term prosperity by listening to
the voices of small business owners themselves."
A copy of the survey's full methodology and analysis paper is available upon
request. Please email Thumbtack's Chief Economist, Jon Lieber, at
firstname.lastname@example.org for a copy
of the paper and with any questions or comments you might have.