Survey findings and summary
Thumbtack, in partnership with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, has released the results from the second annual Thumbtack Small Business Survey. The study, drawing upon data from over 7,000 small business owners, provides new insights into state and local business environments across the nation.
"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. "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 key findings include:
- 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.
- Utah was the top rated state, and Austin, TX was the top rated city. At the other end of the spectrum, Rhode Island and Newark, NJ were the lowest rated state and city.
- 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."
- Small businesses were relatively unconcerned with tax rates – more than half of small business owners felt they pay about the right share of taxes.
"It is critical to the economic health of every city and state to create an entrepreneur-friendly environment," said Dane Stangler, director 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."