This month we celebrated the release of the 2017 Thumbtack Small Business Friendliness Survey—which includes data from more than 30,000 skilled professionals on what it’s like to start and run a small business in cities and states across the U.S—by hosting a pro celebration in Washington D.C. More than 100 Thumbtack pros attended the event, sharing their best stories and insights with Thumbtack CEO Marco Zappacosta.
One thing we heard a lot about at the event: small business owners are worried about healthcare. To help, we’re also sharing some basic how-to information below for pros who plan to be insured through the Affordable Care Act exchange at HealthCare.gov. With the window to register closing on December 15, the time to register is now—before the holiday rush sets in.
Thumbtack Small Business Friendliness Survey 2017
Since 2012, Thumbtack has run the largest survey of small businesses in the country to find out what local policies are most important for small business owners when it comes to starting, operating and growing their businesses. This year, more than 13,000 pros—from electricians and plumbers to makeup artists and tutors—participated in Thumbtack’s Small Business Friendliness Survey, which covered everything from regulations and licensing to the quality of the government website in their area.
To celebrate the results, Thumbtack hosted an event with more than 100 pros in Washington D.C. Pros took headshots with event photographers and shared their favorite (and least favorite) Thumbtack experiences with Thumbtack CEO Marco Zappacosta and Thumbtack chief economist Lucas Puente.
Also in attendance was Top Pro Ryan Morris, who shared his Thumbtack success story at a press conference the previous day. “In January, after many conversations with my wife, I decided to quit my job and work for myself full-time. Since then I’ve been interviewed by magazines, I’ve been on the news—I was even offered a TV show. It’s truly been a journey and I have Thumbtack to thank for it,” Ryan shared.
Top Pro Ryan Morris speaks about building his business on Thumbtack in front of an audience at the Small Business Friendliness Survey 2017 press conference in D.C.
Thumbtack CEO on What Cities Can Do to Support Small Business
There’s no doubt small businesses are the backbone of the U.S. economy—so why aren’t local officials doing more to support small business owners? In an op-ed piece titled “Instead of courting Amazon, cities should do more to support local startups,” Thumbtack’s CEO Marco Zappacosta laid out why they should, with insights from Thumbtack pros on what local governments across the country can do to help small business owners start and run a business.
“Instead of writing a blank check to multinational conglomerates that may or may not live up to the job promises they claim, these cities could invest a fraction of the cost in boosting and encouraging new business formation. That’s what small business owners told us time and again,” writes Marco.
Read more of Marco’s defense of small business owners in VentureBeat.
Fast Facts: Healthcare Open Enrollment
It’s that time of the year again—open enrollment season. If you want to purchase health insurance for yourself, employees or family, you have until December 15 to enroll in a plan through HealthCare.gov. A few things to keep in mind when you sign up:
- Financial assistance is available. Plans can be as affordable as $50 to $100 per month thanks to financial assistance from the federal government. Not sure if you’re eligible? More than 8 in 10 people who sign up qualify for financial assistance.
- Expert advice is free. You can call 1-800-318-2596 for confidential assistance 24/7 or visit LocalHelp.HealthCare.gov to find free in-person help in your community.
- What you’ll need to sign up. To apply for health coverage you will need basic information which includes things like name, address, social security number, information on your household and information on how you’ll file your taxes.
The December 15 deadline is approaching and the holidays come up fast. Don’t miss your chance to get covered at HealthCare.gov.