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2015 Thumbtack.com Small Business Friendliness Survey

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Thumbtack.com surveyed 17,633 small businesses across the United States. The 36-question survey asked about the friendliness of states and cities toward small business, including specific questions about the regulatory environment for labor, tax, and licensing rules.

Thumbtack.com evaluated states and cities against one another along more than a dozen metrics. Respondents to the survey were largely very small service businesses with five or fewer employees. Every state in the country was represented, although only states with more than 50 responses and cities with more than 30 responses were given a grade.

For more, see thumbtack.com/survey.

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2015 Thumbtack.com Small Business Friendliness Survey

  1. Jon Lieber & Lucas Puente, PhD 2015 Thumbtack.com Small Business Friendliness Survey: Methodology & Analysis
  2. Survey Overview We polled over 17,000 small businesses on Thumbtack about: The level of support they receive from their state and local governments. Their beliefs about a variety of public policy issues. Information about their background and business.
  3. Grading Methodology With this information, we assigned grades to 36 states and 95 cities on 11 dimensions: Overall small business friendliness Ease of starting a small business Ease of hiring a new employee Overall regulatory friendliness Availability of helpful training or networking programs Friendliness of: Health and safety regulations Employment, labor, and hiring regulations Tax code Licensing regulations Environmental regulations Zoning regulations
  4. State Ratings: Overall Friendliness
  5. Most and Least Friendly Cities and States States Cities Top Ten Best-Ranked 1. Texas 1. Manchester, NH 2. New Hampshire 2. Dallas, TX 3. Utah 3. Richmond, VA 4. Louisiana 4. Austin, TX 5. Colorado 5. Knoxville, TN 6. Idaho 6. Nashville, TN 7. Tennessee 7. Houston, TX 8. Virginia 8. Fort Collins, CO 9. Georgia 9. Boulder, CO 10. Kansas 10. San Antonio, TX Bottom Five Worst-Ranked 1. Rhode Island 1. Hartford, CT 2. Illinois 2. Albuquerque, NM 3. Connecticut 3. Buffalo, NY 4. California 4. New Haven, CT 5. New York 5. Providence, RI
  6. Research Questions 1. What do small businesses want most from their state and local governments? 2. How do different policy measures affect perceptions about government friendliness?
  7. Analytical Methodology 1. Use dominance analyses to determine which policies contribute most to friendliness evaluations. 2. Use ordinal logistic regressions to understand how improving policies affects overall friendliness.
  8. Most Important Policies For States’ Friendliness
  9. Most Important Policies For Cities’ Friendliness
  10. Effect of Training Opportunities on Friendliness
  11. Effect of Government Websites on Friendliness
  12. Effect of Licensing Compliance on Friendliness
  13. Regulation & Overall Friendliness The Effects of Regulatory Friendliness on Overall Friendliness:
  14. Other Factors’ Effects on Friendliness
  15. Conclusions 1. Government activity can help. 3 effective ways to improve friendliness: Offer helpful training programs. Provide easy to use websites. Facilitate licensing compliance. 2. Regulations affect overall friendliness across the board. 3. Tax rates and complexity matter, but are among the least important factors to small businesses.
  16. thumbtack.com/survey

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