New York received a ‘D+’ for overall friendliness to small business, up from a ‘D’ last year, according to a new survey by Thumbtack.com and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. However, it got an ‘F’ in the ‘Ease of starting a new business’ category, the study found. As for regulations, the state received a ‘D+,” up from an ‘F’ in 2012.
New York’s scored ‘Ds’ in a number of other categories in the annual survey, which is in its second year. That includes ‘D+’ marks for regulations, health and safety, tax code, licensing and zoning. It scored ‘Fs’ last year for regulations, tax code, licensing and zoning, and a ‘D’ for health and safety.
A few grades were high, including an ‘A-’ for its small business training and networking programs and a ‘B-’ for ease of hiring.
Utah is the top rated state, the survey said, and Rhode Island was the least friendly to small businesses. Professional licensing requirements were 30 percent more important than taxes in gauging a state’s overall business friendliness, the analysis found. More than half of small-business owners said they paid about the right share of taxes.
“Small businesses are top-of-mind for lawmakers nationwide, but too often their needs are more a matter of conjecture rather than actual evidence,” Sander Daniels, co-founder of Thumbtack.com, said in a statement. “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.”
In New York, the Finger Lakes region is the best overall for all categories, followed by Western New York, New York City and the Lower Hudson Valley. The worst are Central New York, Long Island, Southern New York (the Southern Tier) and the Mid-Hudson Valley.
Thumbtack.com is an employment agency for small businesses that want to hire services locally, such as a photographer or contractor. The Kauffman Foundation is devoted to entrepreneurship.