SBE Council Ranks 50 States According to Policy Climates for Entrepreneurship and Small Business – 22nd Annual Edition

By at 20 February, 2018, 8:40 am

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                             

Vienna, VA – Today, the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) released its 22nd annual look at how public policies in the 50 states affect entrepreneurship, small businesses and the economy.

The “Small Business Policy Index 2018: Ranking the States on Policy Measures and Costs Impacting Entrepreneurship and Small Business Growth” ranks the 50 states according to 55 different policy measures, including assorted tax, regulatory and government spending measures.

In terms of their policy environments, the top-ten most entrepreneur-friendly states under the “Small Business Policy Index 2018” are:

#1  Nevada

#2  Texas

#3  South Dakota

#4  Wyoming

#5  Florida

#6  Arizona

#7  Washington

#8  Indiana

#9  Ohio

#10 Utah

In contrast, the most entrepreneur-unfriendly policy environments are:

#41   Maine

#42  Oregon

#43  Connecticut

#44  Iowa

#45  Vermont

#46  Minnesota

#47  New York

#48  Hawaii

#49  New Jersey

#50  California

The “Small Business Policy Index 2018” can be read or downloaded here, with an interactive map that includes highlights and individual state summaries here.

Raymond J. Keating, SBE Council’s chief economist and author of the study, noted, “Just as at the federal level, tax, regulatory, and government spending and debt policies in the states matter in terms of business and investment decisions, and in turn, their impact on a state’s economy and competitiveness. Punish entrepreneurship and investment via costly governmental policies, and quite simply, you punish small businesses, workers, and the economy.”

It is explained in the report why each measure is included, such as the effects on small business and the economy, along with an extensive section reviewing various studies relevant to the items included in the Index.

Keating noted, “Economic growth and population growth are faster in the top half of the states ranked on the Index compared to the bottom half. For good measure, in terms of the movement of people among the states, those states ranking in the bottom half on the Index lose significant population to the states ranked in the top half.”  The report highlights differences in terms of real economic growth, population growth, and net domestic migration (or the movement of people between the states, that is, excluding births, deaths and international migration).

SBE Council President and CEO Karen Kerrigan said: “Fortunately for entrepreneurs and small businesses, the policy environment in terms of taxes and regulations has improved at the federal level over the past year. There is a concerted effort and real action to reduce tax and regulatory burdens on small businesses and entrepreneurs, which has improved the overall business environment making the U.S. more globally competitive. The same can be said in a variety of states in recent times, such as Indiana, Ohio, Arizona and North Carolina. In those states, governors and state legislators have recognized the need to offer a competitive policy environment in order to attract and keep the entrepreneurs, businesses and investment that drive economic and job growth. But other states, like California, just keep getting worse by piling more costs and taxes on small businesses and entrepreneurs. As the data makes clear, the more competitive states on the Index are benefitting from the exodus of people, capital and businesses from these high-tax and high-regulation states.””

Contact: Raymond J. Keating


SBE Council is a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy, research and education organization that works to protect small business and promote entrepreneurship. For nearly 25 years SBE Council has worked to successfully implement a range of policy and private sector initiatives to strengthen the ecosystem for startups and small business growth. To learn more, visit SBE Council’s website: Follow on Twitter: @SBECouncil

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