The 2016 Thumbtack.com Small Business Friendliness Survey polled over 12,000 small business owner-operators from across the country on their policy preferences and evaluations of their state and local governments. With this survey data, we provide three novel contributions.
First, we grade 35 states and 78 metropolitan areas on 11 dimensions, ranging from overall business friendliness to more specific measures, such as the friendliness of an area’s labor regulations. Second, we use econometric procedure known as dominance analysis to determine what small businesses want most from their state and local governments. This exercise revealed that licensing requirements and tax regulations are single biggest determinants of small businesses’s evaluations of their local and state governments, respectively. Finally, we use regression analysis to determine how improving along different policy measures affects perceptions of overall friendliness.
These results indicate that, among other things, requiring a service provider to hold a license is only negatively correlated with friendliness evaluations if that license is also seen as being difficult to comply with. With these results, we look forward to working with state and local officials to help improve policy conditions for small businesses across America.
The report embedded below describes the methodology and analysis behind this survey.