Milwaukee small business owners give state C+

Milwaukee small business owners feel Wisconsin has some room for improvement when it comes to small business friendliness, according to a new survey.


The survey, by project hiring site and entrepreneurship organization the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, asked small business owners in Milwaukee to rate the state on several points related to small business support.

Area business owners gave a C+ grade for the state’s “friendliness,” or support of small business owners, a C for ease of starting a business and a C- for ease of hiring. The tax code was given a C grade, licensing a C, overall regulations a B- and zoning also a B-.

On the other hand, environmental regulations received a B+, health and safety regulations earned an A-, and training and networking programs garnered an A.

The survey was conducted nationwide and included 12,000 small business owners. The top rated cities were Colorado Springs, Boise, Houston, Austin and Louisville. The lowest rated were Sacramento, Buffalo, Providence, Bridgeport and San Diego.

Milwaukee also earned a C+ in last year’s survey. When rated among small business owners statewide, Wisconsin earned a C- for small business friendliness.

“After a two-month survey of thousands of small business owners nationwide, Milwaukee emerges in the middle of the pack for its friendliness to small business,” said Jon Lieber, chief economist of Thumbtack. “Creating a business climate that is welcoming to small, dynamic businesses is more important than ever, and hopefully by hearing from Milwaukee’s small businesses directly, the city can work towards this goal.”

Some of the local comments included:
* “I know Wisconsin supports small business owners, but it would be nice if there were more affordable resources that would allow small business owners to get the licenses, permits and funds needed without having to take out small business loans.” – Oak Creek wedding minister.
* “While opening a small business in our state is not overly difficult, it often appears that we are forgotten. Large corporations are the focus of our politicians.” – Milwaukee realtor.

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