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Small businesses love Colorado

Colorado small businesses owners rated their state as among the most supportive in the nation, according to the second-annual Thumbtack.com Small Business Friendliness Survey.

“In surveying thousands of small businesses across America, we found that clear and consistent licensing regulations and relevant training programs were among their top priorities,” says Sander Daniels, co-founder of Thumbtack.com. “Given its strong rating by small business owners for the second straight year, Colorado is definitely doing a lot of things right.”

Some of the key findings for Colorado include:
  • Colorado small businesses owners gave the state an 'A' grade overall, up from last year's 'B+'.
  • The state earned an 'A' for the quality and availability of its training and networking programs. Colorado also ranked in the top 10 for its online business resources.
  • Nationally, professional licensing requirements were more important to small business owners than taxes in determining a state’s overall business-friendliness, confirming the findings from last year’s study.
  • African-American and Hispanic small business owners were more likely than their white counterparts to encourage others to start a new business.
  • The top ranking states overall were Utah, Alabama, New Hampshire, Idaho, and Texas.  The lowest rated were Illinois, California, Hawaii, Maine and, in last place, Rhode Island.
  • Among major cities nationwide, Colorado Springs earned an 'A+'. Denver also fared well with an 'A-' overall grade. Each was improved from last year when they respectively earned an 'A' and a 'B+'.
  • Although it performed well in most categories, Colorado did receive some lower marks. Small businesses gave the state a 'C+' for its environmental regulations and a 'B-' for its zoning restrictions.

“It is critical to the economic health of every city and state to create an entrepreneur-friendly environment,” says Dane Stangler, director of Research and Policy at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, which partnered with Thumbtack.com on the survey,  “Policymakers put themselves in the best position to encourage sustainable growth and long-term prosperity by listening to the voices of small business owners themselves.”

The full survey results can be seen here and include full sets of rankings, easily searchable quotes from Colorado small businesses, regional comparisons within states, and Census data comparing Colorado's key demographics against those of other states.

Survey methodology

Thumbtack.com surveyed 7,766 small businesses across the United States. The survey asked questions about the friendliness of states and cities toward small business, such as:

  • "In general, how would you rate your state’s support of small business owners?”
  • “Would you discourage or encourage someone from starting a new business where you live?” and
  • “Do you think you pay your fair share of taxes?”
Thumbtack and Kauffman ranked states and cities against one another along more than a dozen metrics.  The full methodology paper can be found here.
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