And Colorado Springs received an A+ grade for its efforts to create a business friendly environment, according to local small business owners. That’s an improvement from last year, when Thumbtack.com reported the city received an A from its business community.
The survey is the only one that obtains information from job creators and entrepreneurs, the company said.
“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,” said 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,” said Dane Stangler, director of Research and Policy at the Kauffman Foundation. “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.”