LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – (News Release) Arkansas was named the number one state for small business friendliness by Thumbtack, the website and app that helps people find local professionals for any project.
“Since day one, my administration has worked to make Arkansas a business-friendly state,” said Gov. Asa Hutchinson. “We do that in a number of ways, from lessening burdensome regulations and overhauling the tax structure, to building infrastructure and supporting workforce education. We’re proud to be recognized for those efforts.”
In Thumbtack’s 2019 Small Business Friendliness Survey, Arkansas received the top honors based on factors including licensing requirements, tax regulations, and labor and hiring regulations. More than 5,000 business owners were surveyed, making it the largest continuous study of small business perceptions of local government policy in the United States.
“We recognize that small business is the engine that drives the Arkansas economy, and we strive to make the state as business-friendly as possible,” said Arkansas Secretary of Commerce Mike Preston. “With the unique obstacles small businesses face, we do all we can to help them overcome and be successful. We will continue to support startups and grow existing businesses, with more jobs, new technology and avenues to market their products across the state, the country and the globe.”
Small business owners gave Arkansas an A+ this year. Last year, Arkansas received an A- and ranked 16th. As a comparison, neighboring states Missouri and Tennessee both received C+ this year.
The professionals surveyed included a variety of small business owners including electricians, music teachers, wedding planners, and wellness professionals. The survey asked participants about the policies in their states and local communities toward small businesses.
“Small business owners are active, involved members of their communities and local economies,” said Kellyn Blossom, head of public policy at Thumbtack. “Our survey shows the economic impact of health care, housing, and transportation are top of mind for them. With 96 percent of small business owners planning to vote in the 2020 elections, they could have a big impact on the outcome.”