L.A.'s Small Business Climate Gets Mediocre Grades

L.A.'s Small Business Climate Gets Mediocre Grades
File photo by joey zanotti/L.A. Weekly Flickr pool

You've heard it all before: Los Angeles is a left-leaning, high-tax, labor-friendly city that is almost hostile to startups and small businesses.

Yet the city remains the anchor of one of the world's largest economies, with California housing more billionaires than any other place but the United States itself and China.

L.A.'s Silicon Beach tech scene is thriving, downtown's skyline is filled with cranes at work, and small businesses, particularly immigrant-led ones, seem to crop up everywhere here.

But small business owners are a sour bunch, it seems.

A new survey of 18,000 small business owners nationwide, including 2,398 in California, found discontent with our city's entrepreneurial climate. 

The Small Business Friendliness Survey by job-sourcing site Thumbtack found that L.A. County has "average local friendliness to microenterprise, but lower scores for ease of starting a business," a rep said.

"Small business owners reported that it was more difficult to start a business in Los Angeles than in other cities," he said.

In fact, Los Angeles got a sad C- grade overall, the site says.

The worst grade, D+, came for "ease of starting a business." The best, B, was for "ease of hiring" (must be all the low-wage immigrants), the survey found.

L.A.'s Small Business Climate Gets Mediocre Grades

The conclusion here is that government needs to step out of the way and let business owners have their way, because what's good for the merchant class is good for all ... allegedly.

"Small business owners on Thumbtack have consistently told us that they welcome support from their government but are frequently frustrated by unnecessary bureaucratic obstacles,” said Jon Lieber, the site's chief economist. "Given that there is a crisis of entrepreneurship in the United States, seen in the broad collapse of self-employment across industries and states, creating the right environment for business startups is more important than ever."

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