Virginia and the metropolitan Washington area have been ranked as very small-business friendly areas, according to a recent survey.
Thumbtack.com partnered with the Kauffman Foundation to conduct the Small Business Survey this spring. A portion of the survey assessed the environment for small businesses based on multiple standards.
Virginia scored ‘A’ ratings in 10 of the 12 categories it was assessed on. These categories included the ease of starting a business, hiring costs, health and safety, employment, tax codes, licensing, environmental, training programs and networking programs. Virginia scored ‘B’ ratings in regard to the difficulty of local business regulations and zoning regulations.
Overall, Virginia received a grade of an ‘A’ and is considered the 7th-friendliest state for doing business. Within Virginia, the D.C. metropolitan area is considered the most business-friendly place and Northern Virginia is the third friendliest place. The survey cites western Virginia as the least small-business friendly region.
Sabrina Campbell, owner of in Alexandria, said she believes the most difficult thing about owning a small business in this area is “all the red tape with the local government.”
Virginia ranked twelfth in optimism about the future. Businesses surveyed were asked what they thought their company’s financial status would be in a year. Campbell said she is optimistic about the future and would encourage others to start a small business in this area.
“You have a high density of people. People are generally interested in things that are unique and different. If you engage your audience you have a high potential to do well here,” Campbell said.
There are a variety of tools small business owners can utilize in the Alexandria area. The U.S. Small Business Administration offers resources such as information on loans and a mentoring program. There is also a Small Business Development Center located at 625 N. Washington St. in Alexandria designed to help entrepreneurs.
Campbell said she believes Northern Virginia is a good place to own a business, and there is a strong sense of community.
“I opened my first business in a community I live in and I strived very hard to do good things for the community,” Campbell said. “When the community knows who you are and you support them, they will come and support you as well.”
The survey asked 6,000 small business owners listed on Thumbtack.com about their area to determine ‘small business friendliness’.