Black small business owners rate Columbus as friendly

Columbus is the third-friendliest city for black-owned small businesses, according to a recent study by Thumbtack.

The annual Small Business Friendliness Survey looks at what makes a state or local government work for small businesses, such as the friendliness of local tax laws, licensing rules and the regulatory environment.

But this year, Thumbtack also singled out the responses from the 1,663 business owners who self-identified as black and ranked cities based on the response to three questions:

  • How friendly is your city?
  • How easy was it to start a business?
  • Would you encourage others to start a business in your city?

In general, black-owned businesses are on the rise. In 2007, African-Americans ran 7.1 percent of businesses in the U.S. Five years later, that number has grown to 9.4 percent.



Black business owners are:

  • Slightly younger.
  • More likely to work alone.
  • Cite inflation as a top concern for the federal government, twice the rate of other business owners.


Black businesses are notably overrepresented in events, primarily catering and DJs, (26%) and cleaning (15%), as well as moving and professional services like tax preparation and computer repair.


Black small business owners said the three most important factors when evaluating their local government were:

  • The presence of helpful training and networking programs.
  • Easy to understand tax regimes.
  • Licensing rules that were easy to follow and well enforced.


Top 10 Cities for Black-Owned Small Business:

1.    Austin, Texas
2.    Dallas, Texas
3.    Columbus, Ohio
4.    West Palm Beach, Florida
5.    Richmond, Virginia
6.    Virginia Beach, Virginia
7.    Kansas City, Missouri
8.    Nashville, Tennessee
9.    Jasonville, Florida
10.  Raleigh, North Carolina

Three of the 10 had black mayors when the survey was conducted, including Columbus.


Small Business Friendliness Survey, all races

col_ftr_columbus_blackGrades for Columbus:

A+    Training and networking programs
A      Ease of starting a business
A-     Overall friendliness
B+    Employment, labor and hiring
B      Regulations
B      Environmental
B      Tax code
B-     Health and safety
B-     Licensing
B-     Zoning
C+    Ease of hiring


col_ftr_ohio_blackGrades for Ohio:

A-    Training and networking programs
B+    Employment, labor and hiring
B+    Environmental
B+    Zoning
B      Overall friendliness
B      Ease of starting a business
B      Regulations
B      Health and safety
B      Licensing
B-     Tax code
C-     Ease of hiring



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