Which cities are the friendliest for home improvement contractors like landscapers to operate in? Thumbtack recently received 3,578 responses from contractors across the U.S. to their Small Business Friendliness Survey. Americans paid professionals nearly $130 billion to work on 30 million home improvement projects in 2013, according to the Census Bureau. And for many of those projects a huge stack of rules govern what work can be done, when and by whom. So Thumbtack looked at the cities where contractors rated their local government as being more friendly than pros in other categories. Thumbtack then ranked the cities by the spread between the reported contractor score and the overall score for that city. This analysis helped them rate the following as the top 10 cities for general contractors.
1. Greenville, South Carolina
Home improvement pros in Greenville led the country in rating their city government nearly 9 percent higher than other professionals in the area. This is no small feat given that the city earned a B+ overall for its friendliness to small businesses, one of the top grades in the country.
2. New Haven, Connecticut
Home improvement professionals in New Haven rated the city 8 percent higher than other pros in the area—this doesn’t mean they are happy with the city, however. New Haven earned an F, one of the worst grades overall for small business friendliness in the survey.
3. Albany, New York.
Albany-based contractors rated their city government 8 percent higher than other pros in Albany, who gave the city a D for its overall friendliness to them, citing the difficult regulatory environment and trouble in starting a business for the low grade.
4. Tampa, Florida.
Tampa residents spent $1.5 billion on home remodeling in 2013. Pros there rated the city 4 percent higher than the C+ grade other pros gave the region.
5. Port St. Lucie, Florida.
The small metro area of Port St. Lucie, Florida, received a C overall from all pros in the area, but contractors rated the area 3.9 percent better than their counterparts in other industries.
6. Asheville, North Carolina.
A city in western North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville is known for its vibrant arts scene and historic architecture. Contractors rated the city 2.5 percent better than other small businesses in the area.
7. Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Colorado Springs was the friendliest city in the country for small businesses last year and took a small tumble in the ratings in 2015. Home improvement contractors say the city is still doing well by them, rating the region 2 percent better than other small businesses in the area.
8. Cincinnati, Ohio.
Cincinnati earned an average B- grade overall for its friendliness to small businesses this year, and home improvement contractors rated the city 2 percent better than their peers.
9. Dallas, Texas.
Dallas was one of the friendliest cities in the country for small businesses overall, and home improvement contractors like it even better than most. Home improvement pros rated the city 1.7 percent better than their counterparts in other industries.
10. New Orleans, Louisiana.
Rounding out the top 10 list of cities where contractors are happier than others, New Orleans, Louisiana, contractors rated the city 1.2 percent better than small businesses in other industries.