(Governing) self describes as “the nation’s leading media platform covering politics, policy and management for state and local government leaders.”

Governing’s Data Editor, Mike Maciag, recently published a story in its “Management and Labor” section entitled: “The Most Small Business-Friendly States, Metro Areas.”

The article, in turn, summarizes findings in a report recently published by (Thumbtack) entitled: “Small Business Friendliness Survey: Methodology & Analysis.”

I encourage our readers to review both the Maciag article and the Thumbtack report as I will be referring to both in the course of my comments.

Thumbtack conducts an annual, nationwide, business friendliness survey. Its current product is the third such and reports the results of responses to questions provided by 13,000 small business owner-operators in 38 states and 82 metropolitan regions.

According to the U. S. Small Business Administration, 99.7% of U.S. employer firms are small businesses and, over the past two decades, have been responsible for almost two-thirds of net new private sector jobs.

This year’s Thumbtack small business survey unfortunately revealed some damning opinions from small business owner/operators of both California and the Los Angeles metro area. The survey gives these areas a simple letter grade based upon survey responses.

The top four states: Idaho, Texas, Utah, and Virginia, each received an A+. California -along with Illinois and Rhode Island- received an “F”.

Likewise, the top six metro areas: Colorado Springs, CO., Boise, ID., Louisville, KY., and Austin, Dallas, Ft. Worth and Houston, TX all received an A+. The Los Angeles metro area (of which Thumbtack considers Long Beach a part) -along with Santa Rosa and Riverside, CA., Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, PA., and Newark, NJ – received a “D”.

Why should this matter to Long Beach Post readers?

Put quite simply, state and local governments can have considerable influence upon the success or failure of small businesses and, thus, the percentage of private sector employment those generate.

If the governments in a state like California, or a metro area like Los Angeles, habitually make things more expensive and more difficult for small business owner/operators, those businesses are far more likely to fail, or never get started in the first place.

Small business failures and struggles can contribute directly to unemployment rates. Unemployment rates can, in turn, contribute directly to poverty rates and to the numbers of otherwise capable workers who are receiving welfare and other social safety net-related benefits.

It is important to understand that the Thumbtack survey reports upon the perceptions of small business owner/operators, themselves. This is, I think, significant since it is these people who are trying to establish and develop a business while still dealing with the high taxation and burdensome regulations that their state and local area governments continue to heap upon them.

Considered on its own, Long Beach has arguably done quite a bit over the past few years to try to stimulate and otherwise encourage entrepreneurism within its own borders. Sadly, though, no matter what Long Beach City Hall may do or attempt in this area, small businesses in Long Beach still have to deal with Los Angeles County, at the regional level, and with Sacramento at the State level.

California continues to be one of the highest taxed and most regulated states in the nation. The greatest percentage of the responsibility for that rests with a majority (a super-majority, actually) of those currently serving in the state legislature. The political party that currently holds that super-majority has held a majority in Sacramento for almost five decades.

At some point -hopefully sooner rather than later- voters throughout California, including Long Beach, are going to have to make some significant changes in the type of people they elect to represent them in government in Sacramento and in Los Angeles County. If they do not, California and the L.A. region are going to continue to perform abysmally in surveys like this one.