North Carolina has received a grade of C+ in an annual survey of small business owners released Tuesday.

The 2017 United States Small Business Survey, which is taken annually by Thumbtack, a site connecting consumers with services.

The study, which is the largest of its kind – according to the site – surveys more than 13,000 small business owners in 80 cities and 50 states, measuring a variety of factors, including tax, labor and licensing regulations.

“The small business owners we heard from in North Carolina were 2 percent less positive about their state’s support for small businesses than the national average, leading to their C+ grade overall,” Thumbtack economist Lucas Puente said. “And compared to nearby states, such as South Carolina (A) and Virginia (A), North Carolina did generally worse.”

North Carolina as graded by category:

  • C+ Overall friendliness
  • B+ Ease of starting a business
  • B Ease of hiring
  • B Regulations
  • A Health & safety
  • A- Employment, labor & hiring
  • A- Tax code
  • B Licensing
  • B Environmental
  • B+ Zoning
  • A Training & networking programs
  • B- Government websites

North Carolina ranked 36 among the 50 states, though it did grade 3 percent better than it did in the 2016 survey.

In 2016, the state enacted the controversial House Bill 2, or the “bathroom bill,” putting North Carolina in the national spotlight as many businesses and consumers distanced themselves from the state.

In 2017, the gridlocked state government agreed to a partial repeal of the bill, returning some lost business.

San Francisco-based Thumbtack has conducted the survey each year since 2009.

Note: This story is from the North Carolina Business News Wire, a service of the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Media and Journalism