Survey gives Idaho A+ for small business friendliness

zkyle@idahostatesman.comJune 19, 2014 

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter was among state officials trumpeting a survey that ranked Idaho as the second-friendliest state for small businesses with an A+ grade.

About 12,000 small business owners from across the nation responded to the Thumbtack.com survey. They were asked to give grades to 11 categories. Some categories gauged how government interacted with small businesses, such as licensing, zoning and tax code. Others measured how business owners felt about broader economic conditions, such as ease of hiring and overall friendliness.

None of the categories involved average annual wages and per-capita income, areas where Idaho ranks last in the nation in 2013.

Only 43 Idaho small-business owners responded. Combined, Idaho received at least an A in every category except ease of hiring, which received a B+.

"These rankings reinforce what we are hearing from business leaders: Idaho is the place to grow in an environment where government is supportive (and) not a hindrance," Otter said in a release.

Idaho Department of Commerce spokeswoman Megan Ronk said the Thumbtack survey was significant despite its small sample size of Idaho businesses. Ronk said that wages remain a focus of economic development efforts to bring higher-paying jobs to Idaho.

"Is this survey in and of itself the best measure? No," Ronk said. "But its one of a variety of studies and surveys from a variety of entities where Idaho consistently ranks on the top."

Read the Thumbtack survey results and see how Idaho fared here.

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