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Making The Grade

Small business owners love Houston, but men more optimistic about economy than women

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Houston earned the highest ranking in the Lone Star State for small businesses and No. 3 in the nation. Courtesy of Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau
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Dallas may be big, but it's also a friendly city for small businesses. Courtesy photo
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Austin is the fourth-best city in the country for small-business friendliness. Kumar Appaiah/ Flickr
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Fort Worth earned a No. 7 ranking for small-business friendliness. Photo courtesy of Bamboo Leasing
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San Antonio scored a spot in the top 10 cities for small business. Courtesy photo
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Sundance Square in Fort Worth
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According to a new survey, Houston is the top city in Texas for small business and No. 3 in the nation. and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation recently released the annual United States Small Business Friendliness survey, and five of the top 10 friendliest cities for small businesses are in Texas.

"Small businesses rated Texas No. 1 in the country for the friendliness of its zoning laws and the friendliness of its health and safety regulations," the survey reads. Researchers praised every aspect of small-business life in Texas, and none of the 11 categories received less than an "A" grade at the state level.

"Creating a business climate that is welcoming to small, dynamic businesses is more important than ever, and small businesses tell us they love Houston for the friendliness of its regulations, the ease of starting a business and the ease of hiring new employees," Jon Lieber, chief economist of Thumbtack said in a statement.

Other key findings include:

  • Houston is the second easiest city in the country for starting a business.
  • This is the second year in a row that Houston has earned an A+ grade for its friendliness to small business.
  • Male business owners were significantly more optimistic about the local economy than female business owners, reporting scores that were 6 percent higher than their female counterparts.
  • 60 percent of Houston business owners report they are happy with the level of taxes they pay.

Other Texas cities in the Top 10 include Austin (No. 4), Dallas (No. 6), Fort Worth (No. 7) and San Antonio (No. 8).

The survey includes data from more than 12,500 small businesses across the country. In addition to the Lone Star State locales mentioned above, Colorado Springs at No. 1, Boise at No. 2 and Louisville at No. 5 also performed well in the survey.

On the other end of the spectrum, Sacramento, Providence, Buffalo, Bridgeport and San Diego rounded out the worst cities for starting a small business.

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