Virginia Fares Well in Small Business Survey, Hampton Roads Nails It

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Virginia ranks as the 6th friendliest state to small business in a Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation survey of 8,000 small businesses across the country. Hampton Roads scored No. 2 as the most small business-friendly metropolitan region.

The survey revealed that small business also cared about a lot more than taxes.  Summarizes Governing magazine: “Training and networking programs were found to be the best predictor of overall scores, followed by a state’s economy and licensing requirements. Professional licensing — a source of frustration for many business owners — was 30 percent more important than tax codes in determining business-friendliness.”

When entrepreneurs go into business, they typically set up shop in the regions where they already live. For that reason, taxes typically are not their chief concern initially. As businesses grow, however, the report found, taxes increasingly become a preoccupation.

The survey incorporated the following criteria: Ease of starting a business, ease of hiring, training and networking programs, and a slew of regulatory categories, including health & safety; employment, labor & hiring; tax code; licensing; environmental; and zoning. As a state, Virginia scored A or A- in every category.

Here is the breakdown for the three major MSAs:

Hampton Roads: The “Virginia Beach” Metropolitan Statistical Area scored A+ in the Kauffman Foundation rating, doing the best (A+) in ease of starting a business and worst (B-) in training and network programs.

Richmond: The Richmond MSA earned B+ overall, scoring best (A+) for licensing and worst (D) for ease of hiring.

Washington, D.C.: Washington (the survey results apparently refer to the district, not the entire Washington MSA) tallied B overall, scoring best (A+) for ease of hiring and worst (C) for ease of starting a business.

Ten states did not provide enough survey  responses to generate statistically meaningful results.


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2 responses to “Virginia Fares Well in Small Business Survey, Hampton Roads Nails It”

  1. FreeDem Avatar

    But of the three Virginia regions, Hampton Roads is the one that always lags behind the others in actual economic performance? So what gives?

  2. Good question. I have no answers.

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