Small businesses give Pa., N.J., Philly dismal ratings

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Pennsylvania has gotten a “D” in a new survey ranking states and cities by how friendly they are to small businesses.

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and Thumbtack.com polled more than 12,000 entrepreneurs on everything from the tax codes to the environmental regulations of various areas.

Jon Lieber, Thumbtack.com’s chief economist, said companies reported that Pennsylvania’s regulations were hard to understand, its training programs were lacking, and its tax code was confusing.

“We found that most of our respondents weren’t too up in arms about the amount of taxes that they were paying,” he said. “The tax rate wasn’t as important as the ease of complying with and understanding the tax code, so Pennsylvania got a ‘D’ in this area.”

Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, the state’s two largest cities, also earned “D” grades.

“It can be hard to hire workers in Philadelphia. The employment, labor and hiring regulations are considered pretty unfriendly, and it’s also difficult to start a business,” said Lieber. “In Pittsburgh, those things are both true, but even worse.”

The state of New Jersey earned a “D” in the survey. Delaware was not included because there were too few respondents.

Small companies ranked Texas, Utah and Virginia as among the most business-friendly states in the country.

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