SOUTH CAROLINA (WMBF) - An online ratings site has ranked South Carolina as one of the top ten states to develop a small business, but not all areas of the state were ranked the same.
Thumbtack.com completes an annual study on small business friendliness and recently released their rankings for 2013.
On the nation scale, South Carolina was given an A-, an improvement over the B+ the state earned in 2012. The ranking was given for our good qualities in overall friendliness to small businesses, but also noted the challenge of zoning.
The state was broken down into four regions: South Carolina Upstate, Southeastern South Carolina, South Carolina Midlands and Northeastern South Carolina.
The Upstate region is designated as the best area for small businesses, and the Northeastern South Carolina the worst.
"For the second year, South Carolina set an outstanding example of providing a supportive environment for small businesses," said Sander Daniels, co-founder of Thumbtack.com. "The state ranks among the best place to grow a business, encouraged no doubt by South Carolina's highly rated employment laws and training programs."
Some of the key findings for South Carolina include (from Thumbtack.com):
- South Carolina small businesses awarded the state an 'A-' for its employment and labor regulations and an 'A-' for the overall ease of hiring additional employees in the state.
- The state also earned a 'B+' for its training and networking programs.
- Nationally, professional licensing requirements were more important to small business owners than taxes in determining a state's overall business-friendliness, confirming the findings from last year's study.
- African-American and Hispanic small business owners were more likely than their white counterparts to encourage others to start a new business.
- The top ranking states overall were Utah, Alabama, New Hampshire, Idaho, and Texas. The lowest rated were Illinois, California, Hawaii, Maine and, in last place, Rhode Island.
- South Carolina was ranked #3 for the quality of its online resources for starting a business. The state's small businesses also reported the one of the highest anticipated hiring rates for 2013.
- Within South Carolina, the Upstate region scored highest for small business friendliness, followed by Southeastern South Carolina.
"It is critical to the economic health of every city and state to create an entrepreneur-friendly environment," said Dane Stangler, director of Research and Policy at the Kauffman Foundation. "Policymakers put themselves in the best position to encourage sustainable growth and long-term prosperity by listening to the voices of small business owners themselves."
The full survey results can be seen here.