New Mexico’s War on Small Business

Thumbtack has released its 2017 Small Business Friendliness Survey. The website ranked “all 50 states and 80 cities based on factors including licensing requirements, tax regulations, health and safety rules and labor and hiring regulations,” billing its analysis as “the largest continuous study of small business perceptions of local government policy in the U.S.”

Among the states, New Mexico landed fifth from the bottom. It received an overall grade of F, with its worst score in the tax-code component. (The Land of Enchantment’s highest scores were in health-and-safety regulations and training/networking programs.)

Not surprisingly, our neighbors fared very differently: Texas (A+), Utah (A+), Colorado (A), Oklahoma (A-), and Arizona (B+).

Among the 80 cities surveyed, Albuquerque ranked second from the bottom — beating only Providence for hostility to small business. The Duke City notched a D for overall friendliness, with particularly low marks in the tax-code and zoning metrics.

Thumbtack economist Lucas Puente noted that “almost all net job creation in the past two decades” has been generated by small businesses, and thus, it’s important to “make local rules easier to understand and comply with, put information online and give small businesses the same respect and support that large companies receive.”

Wise counsel, and it’s been offered by many others, for many years. Why isn’t anyone in New Mexico listening?

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