What States and Cities are Friendliest to Small Businesses

friendliest to small businesses

Manchester, New Hampshire is the city deemed the friendliest to small businesses by the small business owners operating there. And the state of New Hampshire ranks second after Texas for the friendliest to small businesses as a whole.

The rest of America’s Northeast, however, is considered the unfriendliest bundle of states in the entire country, according to Thumbtack.com‘s fourth annual Small Business Friendliness Survey.

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Utah and Colorado join Texas and New Hampshire scoring high grades for being friendly to small business owners.

Joining the Northeast in the unfriendly column are California, Connecticut and Illinois, all of which scored an “F.”

Jon Lieber, chief economist of Thumbtack.com, told Small Business Trends that whether a city or state is friendly or not to small businesses stems from several primary considerations.

Training Programs and Networking Opportunities

“What most influences a business owner’s perception is the presence of training programs, as well as events that allow networking,” Lieber said.

Training mainly refers to the ease with which small businesses can obtain online information regarding rules and regulations pertaining to how small businesses must operate there, Lieber said.

“Websites matter,” he added.

In other words, Lieber says, entrepreneurs and small business owners don’t want stress and hassle when it comes to finding information on how to properly file local taxes, etc.

Opportunities to network are important as well, due to the isolation felt by many running small businesses, Lieber added.

Ease of Complaince

Another factor for small business owners in determining whether a city or state is friendly flows from the ease of regulatory compliance.

One key compliance issue was licensing. Cities and states that require certain professionals to obtain a license didn’t automatically make them unfriendly.

However, if licensing is not carefully monitored, this is liable to increase perceived unfriendliness. Licensed professionals don’t like it when an unlicensed competitor can gain a competitive advantage.

About Thumbstack and the Survey

Thumbtack is an online platform dedicated to connecting local small businesses with customers. Those businesses range from plumbers and house painters to therapists and more. Businesses are able to compete for customers interested in their services via the use of a bidding system.

For the Friendliness survey, around 18,000 U.S.-based small business owners participated by providing a rating of their state and city governments on a range of factors. Thumbtack used more than a dozen metrics to evaluate states and cities against one another.

Welcome to New Hampshire Photo via Shutterstock


Ed Lieber Ed Lieber is a staff writer for Small Business Trends. He is a journalist and marketing copywriter with 20 years of experience writing, editing and managing for print and digital vehicles.

3 Reactions
  1. More than being generally friendly to businesses, you should also consider the market in that particular location to be able to assess if you should really set up your business there.

  2. Surprising but interesting and it certainly helps to be welcomed when starting a new business.

  3. Good article. I just hope it is so easy to move. We used to live at CT, kinda expensive too.

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