The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation has teamed up with thumbtack.com for their second annual survey of the friendliest states to small business. 7000 small business owners made up the sample study and for the sake of this research, startups were classified as small businesses.
The data was actually very eye opening. For instance, Alabama, Utah, New Hampshire and Idaho ranked at the top all garnering A+ ratings from the respondents.
Alabama improved from an A- in 2012 and ranked best in “ease of hiring”. Utah had he same A+ as last year and ranked best in “overall friendliness”. Idaho ranked best in “ease of starting a business” and also received an A+ mark in 2012. New Hampshire ranked best in “ease of starting a business” and improved from a solid A in 2012.
States were ranked on a survey which asked questions about; ease of starting a business, ease of hiring, regulations, health and safety, employment, labor and hiring, tax code, licensing, environmental, zoning and transportation and networking programs.
The three states at the bottom of the list, all with “F” ratings were; Hawaii, Maine and Rhode Island.
Maine worsened from a D+ in 2012 and fared worst in “overall friendliness”. Rhode Island saw the same score as last year with “licensing” being their biggest hurdle.
Despite being the “mecca” for all things startup, California came in with a D which was actually up fro their F last year. The worst thing for California? Their tax code.
As for cities; Austin, Virginia Beach, Houston, Colorado Springs and San Antonio ranked at the top. At the bottom were San Diego, Cincinnati, Sacramento and Newark. San Francisco saw their score increase from last years D+ to a solid C. They ranked best with a B+ in training and networking programs.
Columbus Ohio was one of the most improved bringing their score up from a C+ in 2012 to an A in 2013. They ranked best in “ease of starting a business” and worse in “environmental”.
You can check out the entire data set here at thumbtack.com