NYC gets C+ on small business friendliness - Metro US

NYC gets C+ on small business friendliness

Small shop in St. marks Place at the East Village in Manhattan
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When it comes to cozying up to small businesses, New York State and New York City could both be a lot more friendly.

Thumbtack, a hiring marketplace for professionals, released a report Wednesday that ranked New York as the fourth least friendly state in the country for entrepreneurs with an overall D grade.

For the survey, called the Small Business Friendliness Survey, Thumbtack reached out to 12,000 business owners across the nation to get their perceptions of government policies.

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New York State’s overall grade is based on its tax code and labor regulations, with the former getting a grade of F and the latter getting a D.

Thumbtack also graded New York City, giving it an overall C+, with ease of hiring receiving an A+, regulations a C+, tax code a C+, training and networking programs a B- and ease of starting a business a D+.

“Skilled professionals on Thumbtack report that when government regulations complicate obtaining licenses and permits, hiring employees, and paying taxes, it is harder to start and grow a business,” said Lucas Puente, economist for Thumbtack. “These insights provide a roadmap for policymakers to create environments that foster entrepreneurship and innovation-outcomes critical for continued economic growth.”

Although the report gives both the state and city low grades, both areas have been actively pushing to create initiatives and programs aimed at helping entrepreneurs.

The state’s Division for Small Business Services and Community Economic Development was created in the New York State Economic Development Law to represent the interests of small businesses and help such companies expand.

Assistance is offered to minority and women-owned businesses throughout the state and there are resources online for any entrepreneurs with questions.

In New York City, the Department of Small Business Services (SBS) strongly disputed the findings, citing the small sampling of businesses. New York city alone has 220,000 small businesses.

According to SBS, city rules and regulation are transparent and accessible in multiple languages with the goal to help businesses avoid fines and violations. In the past year, the number of fines assessed against small business dropped by 50 percent.

SBS also operates seven Business Solution Centers across the five boroughs where entrepreneurs can attend free business courses, access finance assistance, get employee training and also free legal advice.

The city also offers tailored services to low-income and immigrant women entrepreneurs to provide them with the tools they need to grow their businesses.

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The agency has outreach efforts to businesses owner so they are informed about services and any help they can receive.

Last year, the mayor announced tax reforms that through a new corporate-tax structure would offer lower tax rates to small businesses and manufacturers.

“Mayor de Blasio has made small businesses a priority by creating mandates to move government out of the way – through the plan Small Business First,” said Gregg Bishop, SBS Commissioner. “SBS is actively implementing this plan in coordination with 14 other city agencies – and we are seeing the results.

“The city has also implemented tax reforms that provide relief to businesses and manufacturers, encouraging them to stay or relocate to New York City.”

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