Live Free and run a small biz in Manchester: We are No. 1

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Thumbtack puts Manchester, NH, on the "business friendly" map.
Thumbtack puts Manchester, NH, on the “business friendly” map.

MANCHESTER, NHThumbtack, an online consumer-focused site, has released the results from its fourth-annual Small Business Friendliness Survey. The study, which draws on data surveying nearly 18,000 small business owners, provides new insights into state and local business environments across the nation.

Newsflash: Manchester ranked No. 1.

“This is great news, I am ecstatic.  For six years we have worked hard to foster a more business-friendly environment here in the Queen City and when you receive this type of recognition, it gives us reinforcement that what we’ve been doing here in Manchester is having a positive effect and we are achieving our goals,” said Mayor Ted Gatsas in a prepared statement.

Thumbtack’s chief economist, Jon Lieber, said small business owners generally cite “unnecessary” bureaucratic obstacles when it comes to running their business.

“Given that there is a crisis of entrepreneurship in the United States, seen in the broad collapse of self-employment across industries and states, creating the right environment for business start-ups is more important than ever,” Lieber said.

Some of the survey’s key findings include:

  • Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 9.34.41 AMTexas, New Hampshire, Utah, Louisiana, and Colorado gave their states the highest rating for friendliness to small business. Small businesses in Manchester, Dallas, Richmond, Austin, and Knoxville gave their cities the highest ratings.
  • In contrast, small business owners gave California, Connecticut, Illinois, and Rhode Island an “F,” while Massachusetts, Maryland, and New York earned a “D” grade. Providence, New Haven, Buffalo, Albuquerque, and Hartford were the survey’s worst­-performing cities as rated by their small business owners.
  • Small businesses in Texas and Utah have rated their states in the top five every year this survey has run, while California and Rhode Island have been rated in the bottom five every year.
  • State and city governments that promote local business training and focus on ease of regulatory compliance are consistently perceived as being friendliest to small business.
  • Professionals who weren’t required to have a license judged their cities and states in a more favorable light; however, respondents who were required to carry a license but said that complying with licensing rules was “very easy” were just as favorable towards their government as respondents who weren’t required to have a license at all.
  • Entrepreneurs’ perceptions of their tax burdens were among the least important factors in judging governments.
  • Investing in a high quality, easy-to-use website that provides useful information and decreases the costs of regulatory compliance improves overall perceptions of a local or state government.


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About this Author


Carol Robidoux

PublisherManchester Ink Link

Longtime NH journalist and publisher of Loves R&B, German beer, and the Queen City!