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Rochester leads N.Y. cities for being small-business friendly

Rochester Business Journal
July 29, 2014

Rochester is the friendliest city in New York for small-business owners and ranks as the 5th easiest city nationwide to start a business, a new survey from Thumbtack.com reports.

But despite its high marks among cities statewide, Rochester received a grade of D for its overall regulatory environment in the Small Business Friendliness Survey.

Some 12,000 entrepreneurs nationwide participated in the study, rating 82 cities and most states across multiple metrics that business owners say are critical to a friendly business environment.

Rochester earned a grade of B for its overall friendliness to small business, and Rochester’s small businesses reported being the No. 1 most prepared in the country for the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Entrepreneurs rated the city 8th nationwide for ease of obtaining health insurance.

“After a two-month survey of thousands of small-business owners nationwide, Rochester’s small businesses had unusually high access to health care and were among the most prepared for the Affordable Care Act,” Thumbtack.com chief economist Jon Lieber said. “Creating a business climate that is welcoming to small, dynamic businesses is more important than ever, and Rochester stands out in New York State for striving towards this goal.”

In terms of friendliness toward small businesses, Buffalo received a grade of F, while New York City earned a C+ and Albany received a grade of C.

Rochester received an A- grade for training and networking programs, and a C- for health and safety and licensing. The city received poor grades in several areas, including an F for zoning, and a D for ease of hiring, regulations, employment, labor and hiring and tax codes.

New York State received a D+ for its friendliness toward small business, one of the worst grades in the country. Its regulatory grade was a D. New York ranks as the second most difficult place in the country for starting a small business, the survey reports.

Colorado Springs, Colo. ranked as the top-rated city nationwide.

Thumbtack is a nationwide consumer service that connects customers with professionals.

(c) 2014 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or e-mail service@rbj.net.


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