Columbus gets an A- for "Small Business Friendliness"

Julie Bhusal Sharma

Graphic courtesy of Thumbtack

Columbus' report card is in and it's not even the end of the semester. Columbus gained an A- rating for small business friendliness by Thumbtack, an online platform for those seeking professionals for projects. The A- grade placed Columbus at 15th in small business friendliness out of 95 cities surveyed nationwide.

The score was determined by responses to three inquiries: "How friendly is your city?," "Would you encourage others to start a business here?" and "How easy is to start a business in your city?" The pool of respondents consisted of 134 mobile sole proprietors from Delaware, Franklin and Licking counties. Of the 134 surveyed to snapshot the Columbus-area results, 109 business owners were from Franklin County.

"I think it's a totally solid score … it was the best in the state by a good margin," says Thumbtack Chief Economist, Jon Lieber, as he notes Akron came after Columbus, ranking 36th out of 95 cities nationwide, with Dayton at 40th and Cleveland at 62nd.

"So it's a pretty good score, especially for such a large city. To be so open and friendly to small businesses is a great accomplishment," says Lieber.

Other factors that didn't contribute to the overall rating that were also surveyed included tax burden and environmental regulations.

Despite its high ranking, Columbus showed results that were in line with national trends.

"One consistent result in our survey, all four years, is that the businesses we talk to (including those from Columbus) care more about specifically licensing rules than the tax rate," says Lieber. "So, it's interesting-you think small businesses are really worried about the taxes coming out of their pocket, but at least for the population we talk to, they're more concerned about the time cost of having to comply with all the complicated rules and regulations these states put on small business owners."

-Julie France