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Southeast Kansas the state's leader in small business success - KOAM TV 7

New survey says Southeast Kansas is the state's leader in small business success

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A new survey ranks Southeast Kansas as the top region in the state to open a small business.

According to a national small business survey conducted by ThumbTack.com, Kansas is the ninth easiest state in the country to start a small business.  The survey was conducted in partnership with an entrepreneurship organization to investigate the best places in the country to do business.

More than 6,000 businesses were surveyed nationwide and those in Southeast Kansas scored pretty high on the list.

Charlene Hunley of the Baxter Springs Chamber of Commerce says they have always put a big focus on bringing in small business.

"Kansas is great to work with as far as small business, they make it easy as far as registering with the state, you don't have a lot of red tape," says Hunley.

The results ring true in Baxter Springs which has attracted seven new small businesses in the last seven months.

First time business owner Kaynee Weaver is getting ready to open her new photography studio.

"You had so much support through it, the paperwork was really easy," says Weaver.

Carolyn Knott has seen success with her newly opened jewelry store, Two Wolves Native Designs.

"It's because of the small town and the support that they get from the different families and people in small towns wanting to help businesses," says Knott.

Kansas also excelled in two other categories, networking programs and friendliness.

"That's probably one of the things that I think Baxter really got a strong suit on is friendliness," says Hunley.  "If you walk into any of the restaurants, it's not 'may we help you' - you strike up a family conservation with almost everybody that's here."

But the survey produced some not so great results as well.  Kansas ranked dead last in the Midwest for cost of hiring, mean small businesses are having a hard time hiring new employees.

"You don't have the pool to draw from that you would have if you were in Topeka, Kansas City, so you have to go outside of our area to bring people in and smaller businesses have problems being able to do that," says Hunley.

That problem, however, is overshadowed by an overall small business score to be proud of.

Oklahoma received an overall grade of an A+, while Arkansas and Kansas were each given an A-, and Missouri received a B-.

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