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U.S. States By How ‘Friendly’ They Are to Small Business

ThumbTack conducted a survey of 7,629 small businesses across the United States to search for the friendliest states to small business.

In total, there are nearly 28 million small businesses across the United States. Each year, ThumbTack conducts a study to determine how each of the 50 states treat entrepreneurs and small businesses. The determining factors included government websites, regulations for business, licensing, training, recruiting, taxes and start-up difficulty.

1. South Dakota A+

Each of the first five states received an A+ grade. This is because they were tied with each other in a number of different categories. South Dakota is placed as first as it earned an A+ ratings in nearly every category. Only exception was found to be in the recruitment area where it unfortunately received a D rating.

2. Tennessee A+

Tennessee came in at an A- rating overall. However, the state’s government websites, as with a number of states in the study, was rated a D. Nashville performed as one of the top #6 cities in small business friendliness, with an A+.

3. Alaska A+

Alaska received A+ marks in six of the eight sections. The only exceptions must be due to its remote location with a small population. Recruitment received a C+, and training and networking received a D.

4. Michigan A+

Michigan also got an A+ rating overall. The state has a number of good scoring attributes such as the factors in hiring and start-up businesses scored well. However, the taxes and government websites rated C and C+ respectively.

5. Utah A+

Utah received A’s and B’s in each category. While Salt Lake City received an A-. However, training and networking received an F, while government websites scored D.

6. Georgia A

The spot near the top 5 belongs to Georgia’s with A’s and B’s in six of eight areas. However, government websites, training and networking dropped to C and C- grades. The city of Atlanta scored an A-.

7. Texas A

Texas also has the two best cities in the country known for its friendliness. Both Fort Worth and San Antonio, received an A+ rating overall. Texas performed quite well for a number of each categories. However, the lower ranking was because it did not do well with training and networking and the government websites.

8. South Carolina A

South Carolina, showed As and Bs in a number of areas. The state also has #7 city for Charleston, given an A. A fast-growing population and abundant work if offered here.

9. North Dakota A-

Small businesses are seen to be doing quite well. Although, tax code is difficult and recruitment received lower scores due to its remoteness and received a D+. Start-up and overall friendliness were good.

10. Maine A-

Maine performed well. Ease of recruiting received an A+; While tax code, received a C-.

11. Arizona A-

The weather in this state is hot and dry, but to small business is friendly. However, training, networking and government received D and C-.

12. Alabama A-

Alabama scored an A and an A- for five of eight areas. However, it received low grades for Start-up, training and networking.

13. North Carolina A-

North Carolina received decent scores while two cities, Raleigh and Charlotte gained good scores. However, recruitment and government websites scored low.

14. Minnesota A-

Both recruiting and tax code received C- grades. However, small business owners are quite pleased with Minnesota. Minneapolis ranked as the #12 city in the nation for friendliness.

15. Massachusetts A-

The state received a number of low scores except for start-up, However, an F was given for the government website. The state does have the Northeast’s second highest-rated city, Boston with an A-.

16. Arkansas A-

The state received A+ for recruiting, employment and labor. However, the government websites, performed low with a D+.

17. Idaho A-

For Idaho, the state did quite well except for recruitment with a C-. However, training and networking both received an F.

18. Montana A-

The tax code in Montana received an A+. Recruitment only received a C+. The result may be due to a large rural state that has a small population.

19. Indiana A-

Everything performed well in Indiana with As and Bs. However, training, networking and the government websites got Fs.

20. Maryland B+

The overall friendliness received a B+. However, the tax code and government websites received Fs.

21. Nebraska B+

Warren Buffett’s origins received a B+ for friendliness and an overall grade. But tax code and licensing received a D, with not much else scoring high. Omaha, received a B.

22. Ohio B

Ohio was an average performer with Bs, and one C+ for tax code. Columbus, received an A+ and Cincinnati scored B. However, Cleveland averaged a D.

23. New Hampshire B

The second-ranked of the 6 New England states, with the top-ranked city Manchester, which received an A. However, tax code gained an A- and recruiting received a D+.

24. Mississippi B

Mississippi performed well with an A- in tax code and recruitment. However, training and networking received an F.

25. Virginia B

Virginia performed well except in training and networking with a F and a D+. Start-up, recruitment and employment, scored As and A-s.

26. Louisiana B

Louisiana did not score badly but tax code with a C, training and networking receiving a D+ pulled the states overall score down. However, New Orleans received an overall score of an A-.

27. Delaware B-

Recruitment received a D+ while training and networking got an F. Business start-up performed well with a scored of an A+.

28. Iowa C+

Training, networking and government websites pulled the score lower for Iowa. The overall friendliness score was only a C+.

29. Florida C+

Florida came in with a number of B and C-. Jacksonville received an A+ and Miami got a B-.

30. Colorado C+

Colorado received a B+ for government websites, and a C- for recruitment. Colorado Springs received an A+ while Denver got C+.

31. Washington C+

Washington gained a C+, due to five Ds and one F. Seattle only received a C-.

32. Kansas C

Recruitment received a D+, while training, networking and government websites only received Fs.

33. Oklahoma C

Oklahoma got an A+ for recruitment and an A for start-up business. However, it gained four Cs and an F. Oklahoma City received a B- overall.

34. Oregon C

The Oregon government websites received an A+ while training and networking made an A-. Portland gained only a C+.

35. Wisconsin C

Wisconsin scored low except for start-up business with a B+. The rest was between C and F.

36. Pennsylvania C

Pennsylvania performed well with recruitment with a B- and a B in employment, labor and hiring. Pittsburgh came in with a B while Philadelphia received a C-.

37. Nevada C

Nevada did not perform well except an A in recruitment. However, regulations, licensing, and government websites did not do well. Las Vegas only received a C-.

38. Connecticut C-

Connecticut only did well with their government websites, an A. Tax code got an F while Hartford got a C.

39. Vermont C-

Recruitment for Vermont received an F. The state’s tax code received a C+, but the government websites got an A.

40. Missouri C-

Recruitment gained an A-. However, training and networking got an F. Kansas City received a C+.

41. West Virginia C-

Employment, recruitment and labor received an A+. However, training and networking performed bad with only an F.

42. New York D+

New York gains a C+ for recruitment and was its top grade. Tax code and government websites only Fs while New York City gained only a C.

43. New Jersey D+

New Jersey scored well with taxes with a C. However, Fs, and two Ds showed the rest. Newark, gained a C+.

44. California D

Recruitment was awarded with a B-. However, the Golden State could only manage a D or an F. San Francisco, got an F but Oakland received a B.

45. Wyoming D

Wyoming’s performance with low taxes and regulations got As. However, recruitment, training and networking, and the government websites received Fs.

46. Kentucky D

Kentucky fell from a A- last year to a D.

47. New Mexico D

New Mexico scored an F in tax code, D+ for recruitment and an F in training and networking. Albuquerque got a D+.

48. Rhode Island D

Rhode Island received an A+ in training and networking. However, only D and F scores for the other areas. Providence, received a D+.

49. Hawaii F

Hawaii did not do well with small businesses with C+s and five Fs. Even the city of Honolulu received an F rating.

50. Illinois F

Recruiting scored a B, but but the state gained two D and five Fs. Chicago ranked last among all the cities, at a D.

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