Charlotte Among Nation's Best for Small Business Friendliness
National survey gives Charlotte high marks for regulatory friendliness and overall friendliness to small business
Published Tuesday, July 15, 2014 12:40 pm, in partnership with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, today released new data showing that small businesses rate Charlotte highly for its friendly regulations and overall small business friendliness. More than 12,000 entrepreneurs nationwide participated in this year’s survey. The Small Business Friendliness Survey is the largest survey of its kind and is the only survey to obtain data from an extensive, nationwide sample of small business owners themselves to determine the most business-friendly locations.

While there are various "business climate rankings" that rate locations as good or bad for business, there are no others that draw upon considerable data from small business owners themselves. This year our team was able to rate 82 cities and most states across multiple metrics that business owners say are critical to a friendly business environment.

“After a two-month survey of thousands of small business owners nationwide, Charlotte has emerged as one of the top cities nationwide for small business,” said Jon Lieber, Chief Economist of “Creating a business climate that is welcoming to small, dynamic businesses is more important than ever, and Charlotte's high marks from small businesses show they are making progress towards that goal.”

Some of the key findings for Charlotte - and North Carolina generally - include:

• Charlotte earned an A grade for its overall business friendliness and an A- for the friendliness of its regulations.
• Charlotte earned four A grades and five A- grades out of the 11 categories we rated.
• Charlotte's labor laws were the 9th friendliest for small businesses in the country.
• Charlotte's worst grade was for the availability of its training and networking programs, where it was rated 40th in the country.
• Charlotte was the highest rated city in North Carolina for small business friendliness.
• The top rated cities overall were Colorado Springs, Boise, Houston, Austin, and Louisville. The lowest rated were Sacramento, Providence, Buffalo, Bridgeport, and San Diego.

“It is critical to the economic health of every city and state to create an entrepreneur-friendly environment,” said Dane Stangler, vice president 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 and include full sets of rankings for cities and states going back three years, along with dozens of easily searchable quotes from Charlotte small businesses.


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