Economic Development, Government, and Small Business & Startups

Small business survey rates Grand Rapids

September 16, 2015
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The federal government has backed nearly 34,000 small business loans in Michigan over the past 25 years. ©Thinkstock.com

Grand Rapids has been rated nationally for beer, raising a family, its economy and now small business friendliness.

The city received a B- grade for “overall friendliness” in the annual "Small Business Friendliness Survey" by San Francisco-based Thumbtack, a marketplace that connects professionals to help them accomplish projects.

Thumbtack said 17,633 U.S. small business owners responded to this year’s survey, including 34 in Grand Rapids and 409 in Michigan.

The survey asked respondents to rate their state and city governments on a range of policy factors.

“Small business owners on Thumbtack have consistently told us that they welcome support from their governments but are frequently frustrated by unnecessary bureaucratic obstacles,” said Jon Lieber, chief economist, Thumbtack. “Michigan's average grades in our survey show room for improvement both in the regulatory climate and the direct support offered by the state.”

"Small Business Friendliness Survey": Grand Rapids results

  • B- for overall small business friendliness, ranking No. 49 out of 95 cities
  • A+ for small busines regulations, which includes several categories: zoning; environmental; licensing; tax code; employment, labor and hiring; health and safety
  • A+ for training and networking programs
  • C- for ease of hiring
  • D+ for ease of starting a business

Ann Arbor also earned a B- for overall small business friendliness, while Detroit earned a B+.

Michigan’s best scores were Bs for its training and networking programs and its environmental and zoning regulations.

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