SBE Council Ranks the States for Policy Friendliness in “U.S. Business Policy Index 2012”

By at 13 December, 2012, 11:19 am

Contact: Raymond J. Keating

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Washington, D.C. – Today, the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) released its “U.S. Business Policy Index 2012: Ranking the States on Policy Measures and Costs Impacting Small Business and Entrepreneurship.” 

The Index, now in its 17th year, ranks the 50 states according to 46 different policy measures, including a wide array of tax, regulatory and government spending measures. (Visit the interactive map of the Index, which highlights the key positives and negatives for each state – as well as the ranking – on SBE Council’s website here.)

The most entrepreneur-friendly states under the “U.S. Business Policy Index 2012” are: 1) South Dakota, 2) Nevada, 3) Texas, 4) Wyoming, 5) Florida, 6) Washington, 7) Alabama, 8) Utah, 9) Colorado, 10) Arizona, 11) Michigan, 12) Virginia, 13) Indiana, 14) South Carolina, and 15) Mississippi. 

In contrast, the states with the least favorable policy environments include: 37) North Carolina, 38) Massachusetts, 39) Nebraska, 40) Minnesota, 41) Rhode Island, 42) Connecticut, 43) Oregon, 44) Iowa, 45) Hawaii, 46) Maine, 47) New York, 48) Vermont, 49) New Jersey, and 50) California.

SBE Council president and CEO Karen Kerrigan noted: “With all of the focus on federal policy in recent times, it is important to remember that policies at the state level have a major effect on entrepreneurs and businesses for better or for worse. Many governors understand that a friendly policy environment is critical to attracting investment and business, and they are working to improve key policies that will help drive job growth, entrepreneurship and economic opportunity.  Small businesses are benefitting from policy competition between the states, and it is encouraging to see leadership on key issues such as fiscal reform, sensible spending, and tax and regulatory relief.  The difference in policy costs from state to state can be quite striking, and that matters for entrepreneurship and for a state’s economy.”

Raymond J. Keating, SBE Council’s chief economist and author of the study, pointed out, “Quite simply, policy decisions matter when it comes to making business and investment decisions. Entrepreneurs and investors understand this fact of economic life. But it’s hit or miss with elected officials. As illustrated by this index, some get it, and some clearly do not.”

The “U.S. Business Policy Index 2012” (formerly the “Small Business Survival Index”) can be read and downloaded on SBE Council’s website here.  For an interactive online U.S. map summary, please click here.

U.S. Business Policy Index 2012:  Policy Ranking (from most favorable to least favorable)

Rank   State

1          South Dakota

2          Nevada

3          Texas

4          Wyoming

5          Florida

6          Washington

7          Alabama

8          Utah

9          Colorado

10        Arizona

11        Michigan

12        Virginia

13        Indiana

14        South Carolina

15        Mississippi

16        North Dakota

17        Tennessee

18        Ohio

19        Alaska

20        New Hampshire

21        Georgia

22        Missouri

23        Oklahoma

24        Pennsylvania

25        Louisiana

26        New Mexico

27        Wisconsin

28        Kansas

29        Kentucky

30        West Virginia

31        Idaho

32        Montana

33        Delaware

34        Arkansas

35        Illinois

36        Maryland

37        North Carolina

38        Massachusetts

39        Nebraska

40        Minnesota

41        Rhode Island

42        Connecticut

43        Oregon

44        Iowa

45        Hawaii

46        Maine

47        New York

48        Vermont

49        New Jersey

50        California

SBE Council is a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy, research and education organization that works to protect small business and promote entrepreneurship.  For more information, please visit:

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