Thursday, May 10, 2012

Survey gives Idaho A+ for small business friendliness

After a two-month survey of more than 6,000 small business owners nationwide, has released new data showing that Idaho ranked first for overall small business friendliness.

"Asking entrepreneurs to rank state friendliness to their businesses is a powerful resource for helping policymakers understand the needs of business owners and for helping aspiring founders understand the full dimensions of their business environment," said Dane Stangler, director of research for the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a partner in the study.

Two of the survey's findings might be considered surprising:
  • Small business owners said licensing requirements were nearly twice as important as tax rates in determining overall business friendliness.
  • An important predictor was whether small business owners are aware of the state or local government offering training programs for small businesses.
The Gem State earned an 'A+' overall, edging out Texas for the top spot. This ranking was achieved despite it ranking sixth-worst nationwide for the cost of hiring a new employee.

As I browsed the link,, I saw two comments from Bonneville County business owners. I think they're worth sharing.

“It requires basic licensing and liability insurance, which is fairly easy to comply with. Only in the recent few years have contractors been required to have a state license and be insured. At first, some complained about this requirement, but what it has done is minimize the "fly-by-night" businesses who weren't reputable, and it has given clients more security when hiring a contractor.”
— Home builder, Bonneville

“Anyone with little or no training at all can start a business here. Hell, you don't even have to speak, read or write English. In the retail business, all you have to do is rent a location, and pay the sales tax collected; that's it! Knowledge of what you sell or the service that you perform is non-existent here. It's a right-to-work state. In the service industry or construction industry, just slap a sign on your truck and you are in business. Handymen with no formal training are considered general contractors and can build whatever they want without proper training, guidance, or knowledge of the construction code, if there is one. There is no union, no journeyman and have very little inspections if any. That includes the health department for food service. If you own a restaurant, you will be lucky if the health department inspects you once every two years. Shameful! In my profession, as a tree service, if you have a craftsman, chainsaw, and a pick-up truck with a trailer, you are considered a bonafide tree service. If you can start the saw or a handyman, you are now a certified arborist, no joke! I spend hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in training and safety for my people to no avail; the only satisfaction I receive is knowing that while they are working for me, the job will be done right, and safely.”

— Arborist, Bonneville