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Minnesota earns ‘A-’ from state small businesses, in partnership with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, released the second-annual Small Business Friendliness Survey showing small businesses in Minnesota rated highly for the ease of starting a business in the state.

Additionally, two-thirds of the small business owners surveyed felt they were paying about the right share of taxes.

“Minnesota small business owners praised the state for its overall support,” said Sander Daniels, co-founder of in a news release. “While they were less enthusiastic about some of the state’s regulatory systems, Minnesota still stands out as one of the top states for starting a new business.”

Some of the key findings for Minnesota include:

— Minnesota received an “A-” grade for its overall small business friendliness, up from a “B” last year.

— The state also was rated highly for the ease of starting a business, earning an “A-” grade.

— Minneapolis-St. Paul fared well among major metros nationwide, earning a “B+” grade overall.

— Although Minnesota’s overall grade improved, small businesses remained unhappy with its regulatory regimes, grading the state a “C+” in this regard for a second year.

— Nationally, professional licensing requirements were more important to small business owners than taxes in determining a state’s overall business-friendliness, confirming the findings from last year’s study.

— African-American and Hispanic small business owners were more likely than their white counterparts to encourage others to start a new business.

 “It is critical to the economic health of every city and state to create an entrepreneur-friendly environment,” said Dane Stangler, director of Research and Policy at the Kauffman Foundation, in a news release. “Policymakers put themselves in the best position to encourage sustainable growth and long-term prosperity by listening to the voices of small business owners themselves.”

The Small Business Friendliness Survey is the only survey to obtain data from an nationwide network of job creators and entrepreneurs in order to determine the most business-friendly locations a press release said.

While there are various “business climate rankings” that rate locations as good or bad for business, there are no others that draw upon considerable data from small business owners themselves.

The full survey results can be seen online and include full sets of rankings, easily searchable quotes from Minnesota small businesses, regional comparisons within states and Census data comparing Minnesota’s key demographics against those of other states.