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05 June 2012

Study Says Georgia Ranks Among the Friendliest States to do Business

Thumbtack.com, in partnership with the Kauffman Foundation, released new data showing that small businesses rank Georgia among the top ten friendliest states nationwide towards small business.

“After a two-month survey of over 6,000 small business owners nationwide, Georgia comes out on top as one of the nation's friendliest states for small business,” said Sander Daniels, co-founder of Thumbtack.com. “For small businesses looking for a place to hang a shingle or to plant a flag – they can’t do much better than Georgia”

Some of the key findings for Georgia include:

  • Georgia achieved a top 10 ranking nationwide for its friendliness towards small business, earning an A grade and #6 ranking for overall friendliness towards small business. The state also achieved an A grade and #7 ranking nationwide for the ease of starting business. The state also had the nation's eighth-most optimistic businesses nationwide about their economic future. However, the state struggled in certain areas - including having the seventh-slowest growing small businesses nationwide.
  • Surprisingly, women-owned small businesses in Georgia were significantly more optimistic about their financial future than their male counterparts. Female entrepreneurs were 16% more likely than male entrepreneurs to rate their companies' financial situation as likely to improve over the coming year.
    Although Georgia ranked well overall, there's little room for error. The state's small businesses were the least healthy in the entire South, ranking as the region's #1 slowest-growing and #2 unhealthiest.
  • Southern Georgia is the state's stand-out region, receiving #1 rankings for 11 of the 17 categories rated by small businesses. In contrast, Northern Georgia fails along multiple dimensions, receiving the lowest ranking for a variety of categories - the region is the state's most costly for hiring a new employee and the region's businesses are the most pessimistic about their economic future. Small businesses rated Metro Atlanta as having the state's second-healthiest economy for small businesses, but the region also had the least-friendly health and safety and licensing regulations.
  • Small businesses run by liberals seem to be doing significantly better than small businesses run by conservatives. Liberal entrepreneurs in Georgia were 75% more likely than the state's conservative entrepreneurs to rate their business's financial situation as "good" or "very good".

The full survey results can be seen here and include full sets of rankings, dozens of easily searchable quotes from Georgia small businesses, regional comparisons within states, and Census data comparing Georgia's key demographics against those of other states.

Survey methodology

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?" and

"How would you rate your company's financial situation today?"

Thumbtack.com and Kauffman ranked states and cities against one another along 21 metrics. The full methodology paper can be found here.