Boise Ranked 2nd Friendliest City for Small Businesses

Our members’ growing businesses are not the only sign the City of Trees is thriving economically. A recent study published by in partnership with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation recently released new data showing that Boise earned an A+ for its friendliness towards small businesses.  

More than 12,000 entrepreneurs nationwide participated in this year’s survey. While there are various "business climate rankings" that rate locations as good or bad for business, there are no others that draw upon considerable data from small business owners themselves. This year our team was able to rate 82 cities and most states across multiple metrics that business owners say are critical to a friendly business environment.

“After a two-month survey of thousands of small business owners nationwide, Boise has emerged as the second best city in the country to run a small business,” said Jon Lieber, Chief Economist of “Creating a business climate that is welcoming to small, dynamic businesses is more important than ever, and whether it is the friendliness of the regulatory environment or the easy availability of training programs, small businesses find that Boise is one of the best places in the country to set up shop.”

Some of the key findings for Boise - and Idaho generally - include:

·  Boise is the #1 easiest place in the country to start a business.

·  Boise did well across the board but earned only a C for the ease of hiring.

·  Boise's licensing rules were second friendliest in the country.

·  Boise had an unusually high concentration of sole proprietorships with 61 percent of Boise-based businesses reporting they had zero      employees.

·  Start-ups were twice as common in Boise as they were nationwide - 23 percent of businesses reported that they had been operating for less  than one year.

·  The top rated cities overall were Colorado Springs, Boise, Houston, Austin, and Louisville. The lowest rated were Sacramento, Providence, Buffalo, Bridgeport, and San Diego.

“It is critical to the economic health of every city and state to create an entrepreneur-friendly environment,” said Dane Stangler, vice president of Research and Policy at the Kauffman Foundation. “Policymakers put themselves in the best position to encourage sustainable growth and long-term prosperity by listening to the voices of small business owners themselves.”

The full survey results can be seen here and include full sets of rankings for cities and states going back three years. and the Kauffman Foundation evaluated states and cities against one another along more than a dozen metrics.  The full methodology paper can be found here.