Study finds Alabama among friendliest states, southern region lacking

Published 7:31pm Sunday, June 3, 2012

 

Alabama was recently ranked as one of the top ten friendliest states towards small businesses.

A recently released study found Alabama as one of the top ten friendliest states in relation to small businesses, but determined south Alabama to be the least friendly region of the state.

Thumbtack.com, a California based web site, recently partnered with the Kauffman Foundation, a non-profit organization focusing on the economic impact of entrepreneurship, in order to determine the ten most friendly states towards small businesses.

Sander Daniels, co-founder of Thumbtack.com, said the survey included 6,000 of the small businesses featured on the site, which caters to those looking to hire help from local small businesses.

“We’ve ranked the friendliness of states and cities towards small business, and we have just released the rankings for Alabama,” Daniels said. “While the state ranked highly within the nation, southern Alabama scored slightly lower than other regions of the state.

There are a lot of ‘business climate rankings,’ but there aren’t any that draw upon considerable data from small business owners themselves. The Thumbtack.com Small Business Survey is the only survey to draw data from an extensive, nationwide universe of job creators and entrepreneurs themselves in order to investigate the best places in the country to do business. After a two-month survey of over 6,000 small business owners nationwide, Alabama comes out on top as one of the nation’s friendliest states for small business, but the state is being dragged down – and small businesses are feeling squeezed – by Southern Alabama’s unfriendly policies”

Some of the key findings for the region include:

* Central Alabama is the highest-ranking region in the state along 11 of the 17 categories rated by small businesses. Southern Alabama fails along multiple categories, including the cost of hiring a new employee and the current economic health of small businesses. Northern Alabama small businesses rated the state as having the friendliest health and safety and labor regulations, but were the most pessimistic about the state’s health, the nation’s health, and their future economic prospects.

* Here’s how Alabama’s regions ranked, from friendliest to least friendly for small business: 1. Central Alabama, 2. Northern Alabama, and 3. Southern Alabama.

* Alabama excels in the friendliness of its licensing regulations – the state has the number four friendliest licensing regulations in the United States, earning the state an A+ in that category. And Alabama’s small businesses are among the top five fastest growing small businesses in the nation.

* Surprisingly, women-owned small businesses in Alabama felt significantly more supported by the state than their male counterparts. Female entrepreneurs were 33 percent more likely than male entrepreneurs to rate Alabama as “supportive” or “very supportive” of small business.

* Alabama has the second most business-friendly tax system in the South.

 

The full survey results can be seen on the site and includes full sets of rankings, dozens of easily searchable quotes from Alabama small businesses, regional comparisons within states and census data comparing Alabama’s key demographics against those of other states.

Thumbtack.com surveyed 6,022 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?

* “How would you rate your company’s financial situation today?”

The rankings are based on a survey of real small business owners, like wedding photographers, auto mechanics, and yoga instructors.

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