California voted among the worst states for small business

Seems like the 'small businesses' along Main Street in Disneyland are among the happiest in California, which was voted one of the least-friendly places to do business. (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times / May 8, 2012)

How do we appropriately express just how unpopular California has become with businesses? It’s like Brussels sprouts to a kid, John Travolta among masseurs, the Clippers in Memphis … you get the idea.

The latest Golden State basher? A survey of more than 6,000 small businesses from Thumbtack.com and the nonprofit Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, which gave California (along with Hawaii, Vermont and Rhode Island) an F grade for friendliness.

Idaho, Texas, Oklahoma and Utah scored A-pluses. Three of the top five ranked cities are in Texas: Dallas-Fort Worth, San Antonio and Austin. Four of the five cities in California – Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and Sacramento – have D grades or lower.

Among the 50 states, California’s growth rate and current economic health was ranked 41st; the level of optimism about the future was 35th.

According to small businesses, the state’s tax code, licensing regulations and health and safety code get F grades. Its environmental regulations, zoning ordinances and business-launching ease get Ds.

A separate study from the Institute for Justice found Tuesday that California is among the country’s most broadly licensed states, requiring government approval for certain occupations.

The state requires a license to work in 62 of the 102 low- and moderate-income occupations surveyed by the libertarian nonprofit law firm, including tree trimmers, funeral attendants and more.

Californian job applicants looking for work in such fields spend an average of $300 and 549 days on education and experience requirements, according to the report.

Louisiana licenses 71 occupations, the most in the country, followed by Arizona with 64.

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