Liberal politicians may stay away from Texas, Utah and Idaho. But small business owners ought to be flocking to those states.
Once again, in a survey co-created by Thumbtack.com and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, those states emerged as the states whose policies are considered to be most friendly to small business. While they are receiving accolades from small businesses, California, Illinois and Rhode Island received failing marks from small business owners, the survey revealed. Kentucky’s small-biz grade moved up the most, from a B- to an A.
The surveyors gathered data from 12,632 U.S. small business representatives. All were asked three basic questions:
- In general, how would you rate your state’s support of small business owners?
- Would you discourage or encourage someone from starting a new business where you live?
- Do you think you pay your fair share of taxes?
Respondents listed the ease, or lack of ease, with complying with licensing requirements as the No. 1 factor in determining how friendly a state was to small business. Ease of filing their state taxes was the second most important factor.
Most didn’t rank the amount of taxes they paid as a major friendliness factor. “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.”
Other survey findings:
- 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; 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.” Only 8 percent of these said local government was unsupportive.
- Only 19 percent of respondents said they were prepared for implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
- Female entrepreneurs were more likely than male entrepreneurs to say that their state government was friendly to small business, while male entrepreneurs were more likely than female entrepreneurs to have a positive view on the outlook of their state economy.
A colorful map giving an indication of how states have ranked the last three years can be found here.