BATON ROUGE, La. — Today, Thumbtack awarded Louisiana a grade of A+ in its 2017 report card on small business friendliness, ranking the state No. 4 in the U.S. for its supportive small business environment. Louisiana earned an A in eight specific categories of the state’s small business climate and a grade of B in four other categories.
In addition to the top grade Louisiana received for small business friendliness, other ratings for the state include A grades for ease of hiring new employees; friendliness of health and safety regulations; friendliness of tax code; friendliness of environmental regulations; friendliness of zoning regulations; training and networking programs; and websites for government resources. Louisiana scored a B for ease of starting a small business; regulatory friendliness; friendliness of employment; labor and hiring regulations; and friendliness of licensing regulations.
“Thumbtack’s A+ grade for our state’s small business friendliness is a reflection of what Louisiana small business owners already know: Louisiana strives to streamline licensing procedures, provide training opportunities and services, and reduce tedious red tape that hinders growth,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said. “Small businesses account for the vast majority of employers in Louisiana and they provide tremendous support to our economy. We will remain committed to ensuring that entrepreneurs can grow and thrive within our borders.”
The grades are part of an annual survey of small businesses throughout the United States conducted by Thumbtack, which operates an online marketplace for hiring professionals who provide services at homes and businesses. First conducted in 2012, Thumbtack’s survey is the largest continuous study of small business perceptions of government policy in the U.S. Nearly 15,000 small business owners responded to the nationwide survey. The study asked respondents to evaluate state and local public policies that affect their ability to start, operate and grow a business. Thumbtack then evaluated states in the category metrics.
“The small business owners we heard from in Louisiana were more positive about their state’s support for small businesses than the national average, leading to their A+ grade overall,” Thumbtack Economist Lucas Puente said. “And compared to nearby states, such as Arkansas (A) and Mississippi (A-), Louisiana did better.”
Complete survey results may be found online at Thumbtack.com/survey.
At the onset of his administration, Gov. Edwards placed a high priority on helping small businesses perform at an even higher level in Louisiana. Louisiana Economic Development’s Small Business Services team and its small business resource partners, including the Louisiana Small Business Development Center Network, help entrepreneurs through such initiatives as the Small and Emerging Business Development Program, CEO Roundtables, the Economic Gardening Initiative, the Louisiana Contractors Accreditation Institute, Louisiana Business Connection, and the Louisiana Veteran Entrepreneurship Program. LED assistance includes procurement programs, one-on-one business counseling for startups, resources for veteran-owned, women-owned and minority-owned businesses, and more. For details about LED resources for small businesses, visit OpportunityLouisiana.com/Index/Small-Business-Programs.
Louisiana has ranked among the Top 5 states in the Thumbtack.com survey for four of the past six years, and the state’s No. 4 ranking in 2017 represents a 13-point gain from its No. 17 ranking in 2016. Thumbtack’s ranking of Louisiana small business friendliness is the latest in a series of accolades for Louisiana’s economic development performance.
In September, Area Development magazine ranked Louisiana as a Top 5 State for Doing Business for the second year in a row. In July, Business Facilities ranked LED FastStart® as the nation’s No. 1 state workforce training program for a record eighth year in a row. The publication also ranked Louisiana as the No. 1 state in the nation for Cybersecurity Growth Potential. Additionally, Business Facilities awarded Louisiana Top 10 rankings for Best Infrastructure, Best Cost of Doing Business, Economic Growth Potential, Export Leadership, and Low Industrial Electricity Rates.
Powering the businesses of over 250,000 local professionals per quarter, Thumbtack is one of the largest local services companies in the U.S., offering over 1,000 categories, with a working professional in every county in the U.S. Thumbtack helped customers complete millions of jobs — from plumbing, to catering, to personal training, to math tutoring — which generated over $1 billion in earnings to professionals in 2016. Founded in 2009 and headquartered in San Francisco, Thumbtack is backed by Sequoia Capital, Google Capital, Tiger Global Management, Javelin Investment Partners and Baillie Gifford. For more information, visit Thumbtack.com.