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California voted among least-friendly states for small businesses

May 08, 2012|By Tiffany Hsu
  • Seems like the 'small businesses' along Main Street in Disneyland are among the happiest in California, which was voted one of the least-friendly places to do business.
Seems like the 'small businesses' along Main Street in Disneyland… (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles…)

How do we appropriately express just how unpopular California has become with businesses? It’s like Brussels sprouts to a kid, John Travolta among masseurs, the Clippers in Memphis … you get the idea.

The latest Golden State basher? A survey of more than 6,000 small businesses from Thumbtack.com and the nonprofit Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, which gave California (along with Hawaii, Vermont and Rhode Island) an F grade for friendliness.

Idaho, Texas, Oklahoma and Utah scored A-pluses. Three of the top five ranked cities are in Texas: Dallas-Fort Worth, San Antonio and Austin. Four of the five cities in California – Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and Sacramento – have D grades or lower.

Among the 50 states, California’s growth rate and current economic health was ranked 41st; the level of optimism about the future was 35th.

According to small businesses, the state’s tax code, licensing regulations and health and safety code get F grades. Its environmental regulations, zoning ordinances and business-launching ease get Ds.

A separate study from the Institute for Justice found Tuesday that California is among the country’s most broadly licensed states, requiring government approval for certain occupations.

The state requires a license to work in 62 of the 102 low- and moderate-income occupations surveyed by the libertarian nonprofit law firm, including tree trimmers, funeral attendants and more.

Californian job applicants looking for work in such fields spend an average of $300 and 549 days on education and experience requirements, according to the report.

Louisiana licenses 71 occupations, the most in the country, followed by Arizona with 64.

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