Thumbtack's 2013 survey of primarily small, consumer-oriented services businesses offers an interesting take on business climate issues at the state and local levels.
First, it finds that licensing and permitting are the dominant regulatory issue these small businesses face.
Second, it acknowledges that different types of businesses experience taxes and regulations differently -- something we have found in our past research, but that is usually ignored in business climate debates.
Third, availability of "helpful" training and networking programs for small business owners are a more significant factor in rating business friendliness than are taxes.
Overall, the survey findings suggest that small businesses care more about opportunity and growth than about cost-cutting.