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Rochester small-business climate earns grade of “F”

Rochester small-business climate earns grade of “F”

The Rochester metro area has received a grade of “F” from local small business owners in the Thumbtack Annual Small Business Friendliness Survey.

Thumbtack is an online business that inventories local services and matches customers with a qualified professional. For its annual business friendliness analysis, the company surveyed more than 13,000 skilled professionals and small-business owners across the U.S. to evaluate how easy local governments make it to start, operate and grow a small business.

The report was broken into ratings on all 50 states and 80 cities, with grades from A+ to F.

This year, the Rochester region—which includes Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans and Wayne counties—ranked 78th out of the 80 cities. In 2016, Rochester ranked 45th out of 50 and received a grade of D+.

“The small business owners we heard from in Rochester were 9 percent less positive about their city’s support for small businesses than the national average, leading to their F grade overall,” Thumbtack economist Lucas Puente said in a statement. “And compared to nearby cities such as Albany and Buffalo, Rochester scored lower.”

Albany earned a C+ grade, while Buffalo received a D+. The state of New York received a D+ grade this year, slightly higher than 2016’s D grade.

Rochester-area small business owners graded regulations; employment, labor & hiring; tax code; licensing; and zoning an F. Ease of starting a business, health & safety and environmental earned a D+ grade in this year’s report, while government websites received a C-.

Rochester’s training & networking programs earned a B+ grade from area professionals, while the region’s ease of hiring garnered a grade of A.

Compared with last year’s survey, the region’s only improvements were in the areas of ease of hiring and training & networking programs.

Follow Velvet Spicer on Twitter: @Velvet_Spicer

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