The city of Riverside plummeted to a failing grade in a survey of small businesses for overall lack of business-friendliness, including steep regulations, high taxes and other hurdles, according to results released Tuesday.
San Francisco-based Thumbtack.com, which specializes in pairing people with a wide range of service providers, published its seventh annual “Small Business Friendliness Survey” after collecting responses from about 7,500 business owners and operators throughout the country, among them plumbers, event planners, pet groomers and electricians.
The survey results showed Riverside sinking from a “B” in 2017 to an “F” currently.
Riverside officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The downward spiral landed the city at 53 among the 57 municipalities surveyed throughout the U.S., according to Thumbtack economist Lucas Puente.
“Small business entrepreneurs are creating sustainable jobs, and policymakers must continue to empower this segment of the workforce,” Puente said. “It is critical for local, state and federal governments to support small business owners as they adapt to rapid change and innovation in today’s economy.”
In the past, Riverside has scored high marks on surveys that measure how well municipalities are adapting to new technologies, and it has received props for offering diverse social and recreational opportunities. However, metrics related to taxes and the regulatory environment have led to mixed results.
According to the Thumbtack survey, the majority of respondents in Riverside gave the city a failing grade for “ease of starting a business,” “regulations,” “tax code,” “licensing,” “networking programs” and “government websites” that furnish small business entrepreneurs with information.
The one bright spot was the “A” grade most respondents gave the city for erecting few if any barriers that complicate adding new employees.
The Thumbtack survey gave California a “D” for overall business friendliness.
Fort Worth, Texas, rated at the top among municipalities, while South Dakota was No. 1 among states, according to the survey.
The results are available at www.thumbtack.com/survey#/2018/1/states .
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