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Small business owners give Indiana a A-

The Indiana State Capitol in Indianapolis. Small business owners gave Indiana a A-, according to Thumbtack.

Small business owners gave Indiana an A- grade this year in Thumbtack's 2018 Small Business Friendliness Survey.

The San Francisco-based website and app for finding local professionals for any product surveys 7,500 business owners nationwide on issues such as business friendliness, taxes, licensing requirements, labor regulations and how easy it is to start, operate and grow a business.

Indiana ranked 19th nationwide, down from 8th in 2017, when it got an A+. It's only the second time the Hoosier state has gotten an A score in the seven-year history of the study, which purports to be one of the largest surveys of small business owners nationwide.

"Small business entrepreneurs are creating sustainable jobs, and policymakers must continue to empower this segment of the workforce," Thumbtack Lead Economist Lucas Puente said."It is critical for local, state, and federal governments to support small business owners as they adapt to rapid change and innovation in today's economy."

Neighboring Illinois got an F in the survey.

Small business owners gave Indiana an A- in overall friendliness, an A in ease of starting a business, an A- in licensing, and A- in employment, labor and hiring, according to Thumbtack. The study quoted an unnamed management consultant from Valparaiso as saying "small business is supported by the local government and Chamber of Commerce."

Merchants also gave the Hoosier state a B+ in ease of hiring, a B+ in regulations, a B- in tax code.

Indiana, however, flunked with F grades in government websites and training and networking programs.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.