NEW TIMES What, basically, did the thumbtack.com/Kauffman Foundation survey look at?
DANIELS We asked small business owners nationwide about how friendly their state or region was towards small business. We asked them a variety of questions about what it’s like to do business—like how healthy their business is economically, how friendly the area’s professional licensing is, and whether networking programs are available in the area.
NEW TIMES Are there any obvious factors that contribute to SLO’s low-hire cost?
DANIELS The most common reasons a region had low hiring costs were few fees required to hire new employees, minimal reporting requirements for new employees, and simple instructions for which forms to fill out when hiring a new employee.
NEW TIMES What is the new-hire rate on the Central Coast? Since the cost is low, compared to other counties, are more small businesses in the area hiring?
DANIELS Many businesses are hiring in the Central Coast. However, it’s unclear whether this is related to the relatively low cost of hiring. There are many factors that play into the decision of whether to hire—like general economic health, a business’s growth plans, and forecast about the economic future.
NEW TIMES What was the lowest-ranking aspect of California’s small business practices?
DANIELS California scored particularly poorly with respect to the friendliness of its professional licensing requirements. … Problems began when it was difficult to find information about how to get licensed, annual renewal fees were high, or regulations were unevenly enforced within a profession.
NEW TIMES Is there any evidence to support a future improvement in California’s small business practices?
DANIELS Californians were relatively optimistic about their economic future. Even though many parts of the state suffered during the recession, many small businesses told us that they see better times ahead.