Thumbtack’s Small Business Survey Finds Illinois lacking in “Friendliness”

According to’s recent Small Business Friendliness Survey, Illinois is not kind to small business, a fact which may be detrimental to job growth in the region.

The survey asked small business owners to to rank their state based on factors like ease of hiring, regulations, licensing, taxes, zoning, training and networking, and starting a business. Rather than focus on specific complaints, the survey aimed to create a general picture of each state.

When asked small business owners to rate each state on “friendliness,” Illinois received an F. California and Rhode Island were the only other states that received failing grades. The highest score Illinois received was a C in the ease of hiring category.

Illinois’ neighboring states, Missouri and Wisconsin, both received a C in friendliness. Indiana received a B, Kentucky received an A- and Indiana received a B. Iowa earned an A.

Start-up businesses are hard to get of the ground, and 8 out of 10 will fail within their first year. Because of this challenge, many small business owners cited a need for government support.

Top requests included making taxes easier to figure out and pay, providing more assistance with training and networking, and making it easier for new businesses to get licensed.

There are significant benefits for governments that help small businesses. Small business gives rise to new employers who can open up hundreds of jobs in an area. Elevating these survey grades is a major way politicians can improve job growth in their state.

It’s possible that Illinois’ ongoing debates over hydrofracking and medical marijuana affected the level of friendliness, along with financial issues like temporary income tax rates and a pension crisis.

For new businesses to grow, regulations will have to be eased, and the state needs to place more value in developing vital small business opportunities.

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