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How did Newark, Camden fare in small business survey?

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Earlier in the summer, San Francisco-based services provider Thumbtack studied the small business friendliness of each of the 50 states. And New Jersey ended up with a big, fat “D” grade. Now, Thumbtack has broken its results down even further, rating 82 metro regions including Newark and Camden.

The results aren’t much prettier for the two big New Jersey cities.

Newark matched the state’s D grade for overall friendliness, while Camden came in at a slightly better, but still unimpressive C-.

“After a two-month survey of thousands of small business owners nationwide, the data show that Newark rates near the bottom for friendliness to small business,” Jon Lieber, chief economist of Thumbtack.com, said in a statement. “Creating a business climate that is welcoming to small, dynamic businesses is more important than ever, and Newark has a ways to go to improve its atmosphere.”

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Interestingly, the two cities’ grades were polar opposites in terms of the factors that added up to the final measure.

While Newark rated a B for zoning, for instance, Camden got an ugly F. On the other hand, the South Jersey city earned an A- for ease of hiring and a B- for ease of starting a business, while its northern neighbor registered a C and a D, respectively.

However, Lieber said: "Camden emerges as a below-average city for friendliness to small business. ... Business owners think Camden could be doing better."

Thumbtack got its results by surveying more than 12,000 small business owners nationwide. The third annual Thumbtack.com Small Business Friendliness Survey was conducted in partnership with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

The best cities for small business friendliness included Colorado Springs; Boise, Idaho; Houston and Austin, Texas; and Louisville, Kentucky. The worst included Sacramento, California; Providence, Rhode Island; Buffalo, New York; Bridgeport, Connecticut; and San Diego.

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Eric Strauss

Eric Strauss

Eric Strauss is the digital content editor for NJBIZ. He has been a reporter and editor for newspapers in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, as well as for a number of websites. You can contact him at erics@njbiz.com or @acerimrat on Twitter.

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