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Survey: Missouri graded B- by small-business owners

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Missouri ranked worse than the majority of its neighboring states on professional referral company Thumbtack’s 2017 survey on small-business friendliness.

The Show-Me State scored a B- on the survey. Only Missouri’s neighboring state of Illinois scored worse on the survey, with an F. Arkansas and Iowa led with A ranks among the neighboring states.

Thumbtack surveyed more than 13,000 small-business owners across the country, asking them to rank states based on employment, labor and hiring regulations; licensing regulations; tax regulations; training and networking programs; and government websites, among other metrics.

Missouri ranked 32nd in small-business friendliness among the 50 states. Its evaluations were 4 percent better than last year’s survey.

The state scored highest — a grade of B — in employment, labor and hiring regulations and health and safety. It ranked the lowest in ease of hiring, with a D+.

"The small-business owners we heard from in Missouri were 1 percent less positive about their state’s support for small businesses than the national average, leading to their B- grade overall," Thumbtack economist Lucas Puente said in a news release.

Missouri also scored:
    •    B- in ease of starting a business;
    •    B- in government websites;
    •    B- in licensing;
    •    B- in training and networking programs;
    •    B- in zoning;
    •    C+ in environmental;
    •    C+ in regulations; and
    •    C+ in tax code.

Thumbtack also published anonymous comments from survey respondents. One came from Springfield and another was from Bolivar. Springfield was not among 80 cities given a rank on the Thumbtack survey.

“There is a lot of competition for music students and it’s difficult to become known,” a Springfield voice coach said.

A Bolivar cleaner said, “I have joined a networking community and it makes finding new people to work with easy.”

On the overall survey, Wyoming ranked No. 1, followed by Delaware, Idaho, Louisiana and Maine, according to Thumbtack.

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