This new ranking is the latest in a series of accolades for Louisiana’s economic development performance. In September, Area Development magazine ranked Louisiana as a Top 5 State for Doing Business for the second year in a row.

Louisiana received an A+ on the small business friendliness report card from the local services company Thumbtack. The Bayou State ranked fourth in the nation for its supportive small business environment.

Louisiana earned A grades for ease of hiring new employees, friendliness of health and safety regulations, friendliness of tax code, friendliness of environmental regulations, friendliness of zoning regulations, training and networking programs, and websites for government resources. Additionally the state received B grades for ease of starting a small business; regulatory friendliness; friendliness of employment; labor and hiring regulations; and friendliness of licensing regulations.

Governor John Bel Edwards said these rankings from Thumbtack are a reflection of what Louisiana small business owners already know.

"Louisiana strives to streamline licensing procedures, provide training opportunities and services, and reduce tedious red tape that hinders growth,” Edwards said. “Small businesses account for the vast majority of employers in Louisiana and they provide tremendous support to our economy. We will remain committed to ensuring that entrepreneurs can grow and thrive within our borders.”

Thumbtack operates an online marketplace for hiring service professionals. The company conducts an annual survey of small businesses around the country to determine which states foster good business climates for entrepreneurs. Nearly 15,000 small business owners completed the nationwide survey, which has been conducted since 2012.

Louisiana has ranked among the Top 5 states in the survey for four of the past six years. This year's No. 4 ranking represents a 13-point gain from Louisiana's No. 17 ranking in 2016. Thumbtack Economist Lucas Puente said Louisiana performed better than both Mississippi and Arkansas in the report.

“The small business owners we heard from in Louisiana were more positive about their state’s support for small businesses than the national average, leading to their A+ grade overall,” Thumbtack Economist Lucas Puente said.

This new ranking is the latest in a series of accolades for Louisiana’s economic development performance. In September, Area Development magazine ranked Louisiana as a Top 5 State for Doing Business for the second year in a row. In July, Business Facilities ranked LED FastStart as the nation’s No. 1 state workforce training program for a record eighth year in a row. Additionally, Business Facilities awarded Louisiana Top 10 rankings for Best Infrastructure, Best Cost of Doing Business, Economic Growth Potential, Export Leadership, and Low Industrial Electricity Rates.

Edwards has made helping small businesses a priority of his administration. Initiatives like the Small and Emerging Business Development Program, CEO Roundtables, Louisiana Business Connection, and the Louisiana Veteran Entrepreneurship Program have helped entrepreneurs through Louisiana Economic Development's Small Business Services team. That assistance includes procurement programs, one-on-one business counseling for startups, resources for veteran-owned, women-owned and minority-owned businesses, and more.

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