Washington's ongoing showdown over tax reform appears to be doing little to buoy the nation's small business owners, a majority of whom say regulations and other aspects of government are far more important to their day-to-day operations.

That's according to a report released by Thumbtack.com, a website that connects consumers with local contractors and service providers, which surveyed more than 14,000 small business owners on a host of topics concerning the convenience and burdens of operating in their home cities.

The results indicate small business owners primarily are concerned about the amount of time they spend trying to comply with government regulations. Respondents, hailing from 80 different cities, said they spent roughly 8.5 hours per year addressing compliance issues and had to visit government offices at least three times a year to get information and address paperwork needed to run their businesses.

Here is how South Carolina’s small business community ranked the Palmetto State:

  • Overall friendliness: A
  • Ease of starting a business: A-
  • Ease of hiring: B-
  • Regulations: B+
  • Health & safety: A+
  • Employment, labor & hiring: A
  • Tax code: B
  • Licensing: A-
  • Environmental: A-
  • Zoning: B
  • Training & networking programs: C
  • Government websites: B

Thumbtack has conducted its annual small business survey since 2012.

Several areas of the country stood out for their efforts to support small businesses.

Thumbtack applied the survey results to rank cities and states on an A-to-F grading scale. Tops among all 50 states were Wyoming, Delaware, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, Texas, Utah and Indiana, which each received a grade of A+. At the opposite end of the spectrum were Alaska, Illinois and New Mexico, which each earned an F.

At the city level, Boise, Idaho; Worcester, Mass.; San Antonio and Austin, Texas, and Grand Rapids, Mich., all earned A+ grades for their support of small businesses. Cities that received failing grades included Greensboro, N.C.; Rochester, N.Y., and Honolulu. All three cities were criticized by respondents for having onerous licensing requirements and high tax rates.

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