A national consumer website gives Indiana a B-minus for its small business friendliness. Thumbtack.com's annual Small Business Friendliness Survey is based on factors including available labor and ease of starting a business.

July 3, 2014

News Release

San Francisco, California — Thumbtack.com, in partnership with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, today released new data showing thatsmall businesses in Indianapolis give the city a solid B for its friendliness towards them.

More than 12,000 entrepreneurs nationwide participated in this year's survey. The Thumbtack.com Small Business Friendliness Survey is the largest survey of its kind and is the only survey to obtain data from an extensive, nationwide sample of small business owners themselves to determine the most business-friendly locations.

While there are various “business climate rankings” that rate locations as good or bad for business, there are no others that draw upon considerable data from small business owners themselves. This year our team was able to rate 82 cities and most states across multiple metrics that business owners say are critical to a friendly business environment.

“After a two-month survey of thousands of small business owners nationwide, we have an unprecedented snapshot into how service professionals think about the friendliness of their local governments,” said Jon Lieber, Chief Economist of Thumbtack.com. “Creating a business climate that is welcoming to small, dynamic businesses is more important than ever, and by hearing from small business owners directly, cities like Indianapolis can take concrete steps to work towards that goal.”

Some of the key findings for Indianapolis – and Indiana generally – include:

• Indianapolis earned a B for its overall friendliness to small business.

• Small businesses gave Indianapolis a B+ grade for the ease of starting a business but assigned a grade of D for the ease of hiring new workers.

• Indianapolis also did poorly in one of the most important metrics for determining overall small business friendliness, the accessibility of its training and networking programs, which earned the city a D+ grade – one of the worst in the country.

• Labor and safety regulations were bright spots for Indianapolis – in both areas the city earned a A-.

• 59 percent of small business owners in Indianapolis reported that they paid “the right share of taxes”.

• The top rated cities overall were Colorado Springs, Boise, Houston, Austin, and Louisville. The lowest rated were Sacramento, Providence, Buffalo, Bridgeport, and San Diego.

“It is critical to the economic health of every city and state to create an entrepreneur-friendly environment,” said Dane Stangler, vice president 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.”

The full survey results can be seen here and include full sets of rankings for cities and states going back three years, along with dozens of easily searchable quotes from Indianapolis small businesses.

“One of the reasons that I love Indiana is that in most cases the state allows a great deal of personal freedom and government stays out of your business unless you go over the line somewhere.”

– Video producer, Indianapolis

Survey methodology

Thumbtack.com surveyed 12,632 small businesses across the United States. The survey asked questions about the friendliness of states towards small business and about small business finances, 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 in your state?” and

• “Do you think you pay your fair share of taxes?”

Thumbtack.com and the Kauffman Foundation evaluated states and cities against one another along multiple metrics. The full methodology paper can be foundhere.

About Thumbtack

Headquartered in San Francisco, Thumbtack is a consumer service that helps millions of people accomplish the personal projects that are central to their lives. Thumbtack introduces customers to experienced professionals who are available, interested and qualified to meet their specific needs. Whether looking fora painter for their home, a math tutor for their child, or a DJ for their wedding, Thumbtack provides anyone in the U.S. with an easy and dependable way to get started, compare options, and hire with confidence. The company has raised a total of $49 million from Sequoia Capital, Tiger Global Management, Javelin Venture Partners, and other prominent investors.

Source: Thumbtack

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