The Buzz: Durham small businesses find labor abundant

Jul. 20, 2014 @ 06:26 PM

Durham small businesses find labor abundant

Tops for hiring ease: In a recent study by consumer service firm Thumbtack, Durham placed as the top city in the country for ease of hiring new employees.

Thumbtack surveyed 12,632 small businesses across the U.S. about the friendliness of their cities and states towards supporting small businesses.

“Start-up costs, regulations, and hiring are three things we wanted to focus on,” said Jon Lieber, chief economist for Thumbtack.

Businesses were asked questions such as “How would you rate your state’s support of small business owners?” and “Do you think you pay your fair share of taxes?”

In addition to receiving a grade of A+ for ease of hiring, Durham was ranked second in the nation for availability and friendliness of training and networking programs.

Lieber said training and networking programs are one of the largest predictors for a business’ success because small business owners usually don’t know where to go for resources when first starting out.

Lieber said two things usually cause a high ease-of-hiring ranking: a relatively high unemployment rate, which ensures a lot of labor is available, and/or a friendly environment for hiring regulations.

As of May, Durham-Chapel Hill’s unemployment rate was 5.3 percent, while North Carolina’s was 6.4 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Durham was especially weak in health and safety, regulations, and zoning, according to the report.

A Durham music teacher said in the survey that doing business in North Carolina is easy though the process is burdensome with respect to obtaining permits, document filings and registrations.

“There is no encouragement from the state to assist small businesses in all areas of business,” a Durham photographer said. “I spend more time filing sales tax forms and calculating sales tax than I do actually creating images.”

Durham earned a B+ grade overall for friendliness to small businesses, while North Carolina earned a C+.

American Tobacco to host beehives: On Thursday, the American Tobacco Campus initiated its project to host honeybee populations on campus.

Three hives will come to the campus this fall through a partnership between American Tobacco, non-profit Bee Downtown, and the North Carolina State Beekeepers Association.

The event, “Beer with a Beekeeper,” featured refreshments from Fullsteam Brewery and Honeygirl Meadery while tenants and community members learned about the hives from a beekeeper.

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