Colorado, 3 of its cities rank high on small-business friendliness survey

Posted by Tom Kalinski Founder RE/MAX of Boulder on Thursday, July 17th, 2014 at 3:00pm.

For the second consecutive year, Colorado ranks eighth among states for its small business friendliness, according to a survey by Thumbtack in partnership with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

The Small Business Friendliness Survey draws upon data from more than 12,000 small business owners to provide insights into state and local business environments across the nation.

“After a two-month survey of thousands of small business owners nationwide, Colorado has emerged as one of the best places for small firms to operate in the country,” says Jon Lieber, Thumbtack chief economist. “Creating a business climate that is welcoming to small, dynamic businesses is more important than ever, and Colorado’s city and state governments are clearly taking that challenge very seriously.”

Thumbtack list some of the key findings for Colorado as:

  • Earned an ‘A’ grade for its overall friendliness.

  • Earned an ‘A’ for the ease of hiring new workers, finishing seventh nationwide.

  • Small business owners said Colorado had room to improve its labor laws and zoning regulations, giving the state ‘C’ grades for both.

  • Colorado Springs was the No. 1 city out of 82 in the country for small businesses; Fort Collins was rated 24th and Denver 28th (note: Boulder was not included in the survey).

    The top-rated states overall were Utah, Idaho, Texas, Virginia and Louisiana, while the lowest-rated states were Rhode Island, Illinois, California, Connecticut and New Jersey.

    Of Colorado Springs, Lieber says, “Creating a business climate that is welcoming to small, dynamic businesses is more important than ever, and policy-makers in Colorado Springs have done a great job understanding and responding to the needs of small businesses.”

    Colorado Springs dominated the ratings like very few cities have, earning eight ‘A+’ grades and three ‘A’ grades across the 11 metrics rated. It also had the friendliest licensing rules in the country and had the highest rate in the nation for the overall friendliness of regulations.

    Small business owners in Colorado Springs were the third happiest in the country with their tax burden, with 69 percent reporting they paid the right share of taxes.

    Denver, ranked 28th, earned a B+ for its overall friendliness toward small businesses and its availability of training and networking programs an A-, but small business owners gave its regulatory friendliness only a C+.

    Fort Collins also earned a B+ for overall friendliness, but earned an A+ for the ease of hiring new workers – the second best rank nationally in that category. Fort Collins also had the lowest share of small business owners – 17 percent – who said they paid an unfairly high level of taxes.

Tom Kalinski 
Owner and Founder
RE/MAX of Boulder

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