At the start of National Small Business Week 2019, the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) released its 23rd annual look at how public policies in the 50 states affect entrepreneurship, small businesses and the economy.
“Small Business Policy Index 2019: Ranking the States on Policy Measures and Costs Impacting Entrepreneurship and Small Business Growth” ranks the 50 states according to 62 different policy measures, including assorted tax, regulatory and government spending measures.
Raymond J. Keating, SBE Council’s chief economist and author of the study, noted:
“Most small business owners have firsthand knowledge of the costs and burdens imposed by government. Taxes and regulations, for example, drain enterprises of vital resources, distort decision-making and incentives, and redirect resources and energies away from starting up, maintaining, improving and/or expanding a business. Unfortunately, too many elected officials, policy advisers, and special-interests ignore the economic realities of how government affects entrepreneurship, business and investment. The ‘Small Business Policy Index’ provides a much-needed reminder, making clear which states’ lawmakers actually have been making positive decisions for entrepreneurship, small businesses, investment, and economic, income and employment growth.”
In terms of their policy environments, the most entrepreneur-friendly states under the “Small Business Policy Index 2019” are: 1) Texas, 2) Nevada, 3) Florida, 4) South Dakota, 5) Wyoming, 6) Indiana, 7) Utah, 8) Alabama, 9) Arizona, 10) Washington, 11) Tennessee, 12) Colorado, 13) Ohio, 14) Michigan, and 15) North Carolina.
In contrast, the most unfriendly policy environments are: 50) New Jersey, 49) California, 48) Hawaii, 47) New York, 46) Minnesota, 45) Vermont, 44) Connecticut, 43) Oregon, 42) Iowa, 41) Maine, and 40) Maryland.
As part of this report, the 50 states also are ranked based exclusively on 26 tax or tax-related measures in the “Small Business Tax Index 2019.”
In terms of their tax environments, the most entrepreneur-friendly states under the “Small Business Tax Index 2019” are: 1) Texas, 2) South Dakota, 3) Nevada, 4) Wyoming, 5) Florida, 6) Washington, 7) Ohio, 8) Colorado, 9) Alaska, 10) Alabama, 11) Arizona, 12) North Carolina, 13) Michigan, 14) Indiana, and 15) Tennessee.
The 10 worst state tax systems for small businesses are: 50) New Jersey, 49) California, 48) Hawaii, 47) Minnesota, 46) Iowa, 45) Vermont, 44) New York, 43) Oregon, 42) Maine, 41) Connecticut, and 40) Nebraska.
The “Small Business Policy Index 2019” can be read or downloaded here, and an interactive map that includes highlights can be accessed here.
The report explains 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, “It cannot be ignored that economic growth and population growth are significantly faster in the top half of the states ranked on the Index compared to the bottom half. In addition, public policy impacts opportunity and quality of life for all, as exhibited by movement of people among the states, with the states ranking in the bottom half on the Index losing 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: “Many Governors are advancing innovative and bold reforms to attract investment and entrepreneurs, while others continue down the self-destructive path of ever-increasing government burdens. The latter group ends up repelling business opportunity and encouraging their current entrepreneurs to search elsewhere for low-cost, business-friendly environments. States cannot get complacent, though some are, as businesses are continuously seeking to cut costs to stay competitive. States that provide better business environments and continuously improve their policy climates are in the best position to attract new investment, entrepreneurs, and business relocation opportunities. People are also moving to these low-cost, business-friendly states, which provides for a ready workforce.”
Small Business Policy Index 2019
Small Business Tax Index 2019
SBE Council is a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy, research and education organization that works to protect small business and promote entrepreneurship. For 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: www.sbecouncil.org. Follow on Twitter: @SBECouncil