Small Business Survival Index 2011 Ranks State Policy Climates for Entrepreneurship

Washington D.C. (Press Release – November 30, 2011) – Today, the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) released its 16th annual ranking of the states according to their public policy climates for small business and entrepreneurship in the “Small Business Survival Index 2011: Ranking the Policy Environment for Entrepreneurship Across the Nation.”

SBE Council chief economist Raymond J. Keating, author of the study, noted: “The economy over the past four years has been simply abysmal, featuring a long and deep recession, followed by a very poor recovery. Particularly in 2009 and 2010, state and local governments were viewed as entities needing bailouts from the federal government. In reality, though, doling out more funds to state and local politicians accomplishes nothing in terms of improving a state’s economy and competitiveness. Instead, state and local lawmakers need to be pro-active in advancing pro-growth policies. Economic recovery and job growth, after all, are all about private sector entrepreneurship and investment.”

Keating continued: “Elected officials have a clear choice. They can expand government, tax too much, and over regulate, and thereby restrain entrepreneurship, small businesses and the economy. Or, they can provide a climate of low taxes, reasonable regulation, and limited government spending, which is critical for economic, income, and employment growth. Unfortunately, as illustrated by the ‘Small Business Survival Index,’ too many elected officials just don’t get it, and impose costly policies that chase away entrepreneurs, businesses, capital and jobs.”

Keating added: “But policy leadership is being provided in the states that rank best on the Index. For example, some of the top states don’t just keep income and capital gains tax low, they do not even impose such taxes. That’s bold policymaking and good news for entrepreneurs, small businesses and investors.”

The “Small Business Survival Index” stands out as the most comprehensive measure of how friendly or unfriendly states are for small business in terms of public policy decisions. The factors included in the Index – taxes, various regulatory costs, government spending and debt, property rights, health care policies, energy costs, and much more – matter to the competitiveness of each state and to the well being of small business.

The 2011 Index has been expanded to cover 44 major government-imposed or government-related costs affecting small businesses and entrepreneurs. The measures are added together for an overall rating.

The top 15 states are: 1) South Dakota, 2) Nevada, 3) Texas, 4) Wyoming, 5) South Carolina, 6) Alabama, 7) Ohio, 8) Florida, 9) Colorado, 10) Virginia, 11) Washington, 12) Mississippi, 13) North Dakota, 14) Utah, and 15) Arizona. Meanwhile, the bottom fifteen are: 37) North Carolina, 38) Maryland, 39) Hawaii, 40) Illinois, 41) Iowa, 42) Massachusetts, 43) Minnesota, 44) Connecticut, 45) Maine, 46) California, 47) Rhode Island, 48) Vermont, 49) New Jersey, 50) New York and 51) District of Columbia.

To see the full rankings, the report is available at SBE Council’s website at SBE Council is a national, nonpartisan advocacy organization dedicated to protecting small business and promoting entrepreneurship. For more information, please visit:

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