Over 5,000 Thumbtack pros in 49 states and 44 cities told us how well their state and local governments are supporting their business on elements like licensing requirements, tax regulations, and labor and hiring regulations.
After tabulating all the results, the winners are in. Arkansas, Virginia and Mississippi are the top states earning an A+ for small business friendliness in 2019. Austin, Fort Worth, and Oklahoma City are the top cities earning an A+ for small business friendliness this year.
Among the many things we heard from pros in the survey:
An increasing share of pros say it is becoming harder to establish their business near the clients they serve. More than 30 percent of these small business owners travel between 30 to 60 minutes to perform work with 7 percent traveling more than 60 minutes. Frank from Atlanta agreed, saying that “Improvements to the transportation infrastructure could greatly improve my profession.”
Navigating the maze of government forms and compliance requirements can feel like a full time job. Alexander in Anaheim told us, “There are also far too many regulatory hoops one needs to jump through before starting a business or offering services. The overall feeling of trying to do business in Southern California is an uphill battle.”
Small businesses are struggling to afford rising health insurance costs. Only 79 percent of pros currently have health insurance and of those, 58 percent reported their monthly premium increased in the last year, with more than 30 percent of small business owners reporting premium increases of more than $100 per month in the last year. Paula from Durham shared, “Most people who are interested in working for or with me can't afford to do so due to the cost of private health insurance.”
We want to hear from you - what does your state or local government do to create a small business friendly environment?