Survey: Colorado average for small business friendliness

Colorado earned an average grade in the latest results of an annual survey of how small business owners rate their states for how easy or difficult easy they make it to start and grow ventures.

Colorado received an overall grade of C+ and ranked 30th among the 50 states in the 2018 Small Business Friendliness Survey conducted by Thumbtack. The company’s website and application help users find professionals to complete a wide range of projects.

“Small business entrepreneurs are creating sustainable jobs, and policymakers must continue to empower this segment of the workforce,” said Lucas Puente, lead economist at Thumbtack. “It is critical for local, state and federal governments to support small business owners as they adapt to rapid change and innovation in today’s economy.”

Thumbtack surveyed more than 7,600 small business owners from across the United States and in range of industries, asking them about the policies and support of their states and cities affecting small businesses. Thumbtack assigned eight policy specific grades in evaluating how easy or difficult states and cities make it to start, operate and grow small businesses.

Colorado fell from 12th to 30th and from a grade of A to C+ in the latest survey.

Colorado received a B+ for government websites that offer information and online payments and a B- for licensing and related application processes, fees and enforcement. The state received a C+ for employment, labor and hiring regulations and a C- for both tax regulations and training and networking programs.

While 22 percent of small business owners in Colorado responding to the latest survey said state government supports local small businesses, 78 percent said state government cares more about attracting and supporting new corporations.

Two Colorado cities were graded in the survey. Colorado Springs ranked fourth overall and received a grade of A+. Denver ranked 41st and received a grade of C-.

South Dakota ranked first among states in the 2018 survey results, followed by Tennessee, Alaska, Michigan and Utah. The five states all earned A+ grades. Georgia, Texas, South Carolina, North Dakota and Maine rounded out the top 10.

Illinois ranked 50th and was followed by Hawaii at 49th. Both states received grades of F. Rhode Island, New Mexico and Kentucky rounded out the bottom five and received grades of D.