Oklahoma City was the nation's most friendly city toward small businesses. It earned top rankings in nine different categories, including ease of starting a business and training programs for small businesses.Photo credit: Urbanative
Dallas-Fort Worth was ranked the second-easiest city nationwide in which to start a business, and received high rankings across several categories, including its tax code and zoning, and environmental regulations.Photo credit: Dallasborn&bred
Despite the high praise from San Antonio's small-business owners for its tax code and training programs, it did rank among the more pessimistic about their economic prospects over the coming year. Photo credit: Ken Kinder
Earning seven top 5 finishes across a variety of categories for its friendliness toward small business, Austin cleaned up for its health and safety codes, ease of starting a business, and its tax and zoning codes. Photo credit: LoneStarMike
The city earned an A-plus for its networking programs, and its small-business owners were also the nation's fifth-most-optimistic about their economic prospects for 2012.Photo credit: tandemracer
Colorado Springs, Colo.
Nabbing the top ranking for the friendliness of its environmental regulations, the city also earned an A-plus for ease of starting a small business. Photo credit: Postoak
Omaha's small businesses are the fastest-growing nationwide and the most optimistic about their economic future and gave their city an A-plus for its training programs. Photo credit: Ron Reiring
Salt Lake City
The city did well across the board, earning a solid A for overall friendliness, and never receiving worse than a C-minus grade—for employment labor and hiring policies.
Houston also earned an A for its training programs (in comparison with Dallas' D grade) and an A-plus for the friendliness of its zoning ordinances. Photo credit: Eflon
Despite ranking among the nation's most troubled financially, small-business owners in Sin City were also among the most optimistic about their prospects during the coming year. They must like their odds.