Best states and cities for small business, graded from A+ to F (Hint: 5 states did stellar and 2 flunked)

Nashville, Tennessee
Donald Miralle

Some states, it seems, are friendlier towards small businesses than others.

For its annual Small Business Friendliness Survey, Thumbtack, an online service company connecting businesses with local professionals, polled over 7,500 small business owners in all 50 states across a plethora of industries, from electricians to wellness professionals. Ninety-four percent of the businesses surveyed had five employees or less.

Survey participants answered questions across eight key factors, including topics like how friendly and supportive state and local governments were towards small businesses, the difficulty level of starting a new business in the location and the friendliness of state and local business regulations. All 50 states were then given a grade, ranging from A+ to F.

Five states scored an A+: South Dakota, Tennessee, Alaska, Michigan and Utah. Only Hawaii and Illinois failed. However, a handful of states earned a D: California, Wyoming, Kentucky, New Mexico and Rhode Island.


How does your state stack up? Here are the state grades for Thumbtack's 2018 Small Business Friendliness Survey:

South Dakota: A+

Tennessee: A+

Alaska: A+

Michigan: A+

Utah: A+

Georgia: A

Texas: A

South Carolina: A

North Dakota: A-

Maine: A-

Arizona: A-

Alabama: A-

North Carolina: A-

Minnesota: A-

Massachusetts: A-

Arkansas: A-

Idaho: A-

Montana: A-

Indiana: A-

Maryland: B+

Nebraska: B+

Ohio: B

New Hampshire: B

Mississippi: B

Virginia: B

Louisiana: B

Delaware: B-

Iowa: C+

Florida: C+

Colorado: C+

Washington: C+

Kansas: C

Oklahoma: C

Oregon: C

Wisconsin: C

Pennsylvania: C

Nevada: C

Connecticut: C-

Vermont: C-

Missouri: C-

West Virginia: C-

New York: D+

New Jersey: D+

California: D

Wyoming: D

Kentucky: D

New Mexico: D

Rhode Island: D

Hawaii: F

Illinois: F

Thumbtack also graded major cities on small business friendliness. Standout cities for small businesses, according to Thumbtack's survey, include many metros in the south.


These are the cities who scored an "A" range grade for Thumbtack's 2018 Small Business Friendliness Survey:

Fort Worth, Texas: A+

San Antonio, Texas: A+

Columbus, Ohio: A+

Colorado Springs, Colorado: A+

Jacksonville, Florida: A+

Nashville, Tennessee: A+

Charleston, South Carolina: A

Manchester, New Hampshire: A

Raleigh, North Carolina: A

Charlotte, North Carolina: A-

Salt Lake City, Utah: A-

Minneapolis, Minnesota: A-

Boston, Massachusetts: A-

Atlanta, Georgia: A-

New Orleans, Louisiana: A-

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