Starting a business isn’t easy no matter where you live, but it’s easier in some places than others.
Those are the findings of the fourth annual United States Small Business Friendliness survey, which ranks both cities and states on how welcoming they are to small businesses, based on a survey of small business owners.
The survey looked at a variety of factors, including the ease of stating a business, hiring staff and adhering to regulations.
The study’s authors found that municipalities where the government promotes local businesses are perceived as the friendliest. Another factor that improved perceptions by business owners was the availability of a user-friendly website that makes regulatory compliance easier. Tax burdens were among the least important factors in evaluating local governments.
With a few exceptions, southern states tended to rank higher on the report than other states, and two of the top five cities were in Texas, which has appeared near the top of the state list for the past five years. Other top-ranking cities included Manchester, N.H., which was took first place, Richmond, Va., and Knoxville, Tenn.
The poorest-performing cities on the survey were Providence, New Haven, Buffalo, Albuquerque and Hartford. States at the bottom of the list included California, Connecticut, Illinois and Rhode Island.
Silicon Valley may be known for its startup culture, but California’s doesn’t always make it easy for entrepreneurs. California has appeared at the bottom of the list for the past four years, along with Rhode Island.