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SBE Council: How Does Your State Rank on Small Business Policy Friendliness?

Friday, December 12, 2014  
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SBE Council Ranks the 50 States in “Small Business Policy Index 2014”

Today, SBE Council released its 19th annual “Small Business Policy Index 2014: Ranking the States on Policy Measures and Costs Impacting Small Business and Entrepreneurship.”

The Index ranks the 50 states according to 42 different policy measures, including a wide array of tax, regulatory and government spending measurements.

“Policies clearly affect the environment for investment, entrepreneurship and small business growth. In order to compete for capital, human capital and business, many Governors and state legislatures are pushing forward with policies to improve their tax and regulatory climates. This competitive policy environment is a big plus for small business. States like Arizona, Indiana, Kansas, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, and Ohio have really stepped up their game on the policy front. In each of these cases, tax reform and relief were undertaken, which reduces the costs of risk taking and doing business. Meanwhile, top-tier policy states like Texas, Nevada, South Dakota, Florida and Wyoming continue to leverage their long-standing policy advantage, and are doing things to get even better,” said SBE Council President and CEO Karen Kerrigan.

The most entrepreneur-friendly states under the “Small Business Policy Index 2014” are: 1) South Dakota, 2) Nevada, 3) Texas, 4) Wyoming, 5) Florida, 6) Washington, 7) Alabama, 8) Indiana, 9) Colorado, 10) North Dakota, 11) Ohio, 12) Arizona, 13) Utah, 14) Michigan, and 15) Virginia.

In contrast, according to the Index, the most negative policy environments for entrepreneurs are: 40) Rhode Island, 41) Connecticut, 42) Maine, 43) Iowa, 44) Oregon, 45) Vermont, 46) Minnesota, 47) Hawaii, 48) New York, 49) New Jersey, and 50) California.

The “Small Business Policy Index 2014” can be read and downloaded here, with an interactive map on SBE Council’s website here.

Raymond J. Keating, SBE Council’s chief economist and author of the study, noted, “The Small Business Policy Index provides the most comprehensive comparison of state policies that affect entrepreneurship, small business and investment. And make no mistake, tax, regulatory, government spending and other governmental performance and cost measures matter state by state. Consider that when it comes to economic growth, population growth, and shifts in population among the states, for example, the top 25 states on the Index perform, on average, far better than the bottom 25 states.”

Keating added, “As for the best policies, it must be noted that five (South Dakota, Nevada, Texas, Wyoming, and Washington) of the top six states on the Index impose no income taxes whatsoever, that is, no personal or corporate income and capital gains taxes. And the other state in the top six (Florida) has no personal income or individual capital gains taxes. Clearly, enhancing the incentives for entrepreneurship and investing by not taxing the returns on such critical activities makes for sound, pro-growth, pro-entrepreneurship policymaking.”

Small Business Policy Index 2014

Rank State SBPI
1 South Dakota 35.378
2 Nevada 36.628
3 Texas 38.562
4 Wyoming 46.668
5 Florida 49.109
6 Washington 52.010
7 Alabama 59.036
8 Indiana 62.646
9 Colorado 62.754
10 North Dakota 63.134
11 Ohio 63.736
12 Arizona 63.755
13 Utah 64.555
14 Michigan 64.720
15 Virginia 66.771
16 Mississippi 68.045
17 South Carolina 69.218
18 Alaska 69.933
19 Georgia 70.628
20 Louisiana 71.806
21 North Carolina 72.034
22 Kansas 72.068
23 Missouri 73.570
24 Oklahoma 74.082
25 Tennessee 75.436
26 New Mexico 76.843
27 New Hampshire 77.935
28 West Virginia 78.587
29 Pennsylvania 78.700
30 Wisconsin 81.594
31 Massachusetts 82.169
32 Delaware 82.505
33 Montana 83.027
34 Idaho 83.092
35 Illinois 84.764
36 Kentucky 84.952
37 Arkansas 85.457
38 Maryland 86.461
39 Nebraska 91.083
40 Rhode Island 91.891
41 Connecticut 94.919
42 Maine 96.638
43 Iowa 97.209
44 Oregon 97.395
45 Vermont 102.754
46 Minnesota 105.913
47 Hawaii 105.922
48 New York 107.393
49 New Jersey 112.529
50 California 118.454

For more that twenty years, SBE Council has worked to advance policies and initiatives that help to strengthen the ecosystem for U.S. entrepreneurship. Please visit: Twitter: @SBECouncil



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