By Steve Large

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – It’s no secret running a business in this economy isn’t easy, but a new survey says Sacramento is the worst place in the country to set up shop.

Nobody knows the joys of small business better than Janis Lott. And nobody knows the pain when times are tough.

“Every business is unique,” she said. “That can kind of suck the joy out of doing something that you really enjoy.”

She owns Newsbeat in Davis, where she’s been for more than 20 years. She closed her Sacramento shop last year after 20 years there.

A new national survey by an online marketing company shows the Sacramento region ranks dead last in the country (40 out of 40) in small business friendliness.

Janis will tell you the No. 1 factor to make it risky business here is regulation.

“There’s a litany of rules and licensing that we need to have on a state level, a county level, a city level,” she said.

One unusual state requirement? Regulating retail wattage.

“When you’re opening up a new building and you discover that the rules about the lighting that you have to have, have to meet all these regulations,” she said.

Sacramento Metro Chamber president Roger Niello believes the Sacramento survey results reflect more of California’s overall climate.

“Are we rating Sacramento local governments and local conditions, or is it ending up being a surrogate for conditions in the state?” Niello asked. “Largely that appears to be the case.”

Either way, it’s another sign of the struggles for Sacramento’s small business owners.

“The rules are often made for bad guys, not the good guys,” Janice said.

The city rated the best for small businesses was Oklahoma City.

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