Idaho tops survey for small business friendliness
Published: May 8,2012
Idaho ranked first in a survey of very small business owners, though it fared poorly for the cost of hiring new workers. The survey, conducted by Thumbtack.com with the Kauffman Foundation, gave Idaho an A+ grade for all its other questions, including business regulations and the ease of starting a business.
The survey by Thumbtack.com, a website that allows service professionals to bid for local work projects, included 37 members of the site in Idaho and more than 6,000 respondents nationwide. Sander Daniels, the co-founder of the four-year-old website, said 90 percent of the sites’ members run businesses with five or fewer employees.
The survey results also included comments from some of the respondents. Several Idaho respondents were quite positive about the state’s interaction with small businesses, though a few addressed problems.
“Idaho is one of the last frontiers,” a CPR instructor in Kootenai County said, saying that Idaho is less restrictive on businesses than other states.
“The largest hindrance in Idaho for small businesses is that the average wages are so much lower here, that it can be difficult for possible customers to afford services even at fair rates,” said a math tutor in Boise.
The survey also asked small business owners how friendly governments are on a range of regulations, including health, safety, labor, licensing, environmental and zoning rules and laws.
“The most interesting thing that we found was that small businesses care twice as much about licensing regulations as they did about tax rates,” Daniels said. He said businesses don’t necessarily want regulations abolished, but want a system of compliance that is easy to follow.
Idaho edged out Texas for the top ranking, though several small states with fewer than 10 respondents were excluded from the rankings. Daniels said Thumbtack plans to conduct its survey annually.