small business

Rhode Island is one of the worst for small businesses and entrepreneurs

RHODE ISLAND RANKED 45th on the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council's annual index ranking the public policies for small business and entrepreneurs.For a larger version of this image, CLICK HERE.
Posted 12/13/10

OAKTON, Va. – Rhode Island is one of the worst states in the nation for its public policies important to small business and entrepreneurship, according to the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council’s 15th annual ranking.

The council ranked the Ocean State 45th among the 50 states and the District of Columbia for the “costs and burdens of government on small business and policy areas that enable their competitiveness and growth.”

“The Small Business Survival Index 2010 shows which states are most in need of improving their competitiveness and what particular policy areas need changes so entrepreneurs and investors can get the economy and job creation back on track,” said Raymond J. Keating, author of the study.

“Establishing a pro-entrepreneur, pro-investment policy climate is critical to a healthy economy and to sound government budgeting,” said Keating. The index this year includes 38 government-imposed or government-related costs that affect small businesses and entrepreneurs, such as taxes, regulatory costs and energy costs.

The Top 10 states on the index were: South Dakota, Nevada, Texas, Wyoming, Washington, Florida, Alabama, South Carolina, Ohio and Colorado.

The bottom 10 were: Minnesota, Massachusetts, Hawaii, Rhode Island, Maine, Vermont, California, New York, New Jersey and the District of Columbia.

The SBE pointed to Rhode Island’s high corporate income and corporate capital gains taxes, high property taxes, high unemployment taxes, highest number of health insurance mandates (No. 51), high electric utility costs, high gas and diesel taxes, and the state’s poor private property protections as weighing on its ranking.

It also came in last place for highway cost effectiveness, behind Alaska, California and Hawaii.

Nevertheless, on the ranking of state and local sales, gross receipts and excise taxes, the Ocean State earned 15th place, 16th for number of government employees, 17th for crime rate, and 12th in a three-way tie with Maryland and Tennessee for its workers’ compensation benefits.

“It must be noted that countless issues play into human decision-making. But the impact of public policy often is very important. The relative governmental costs among the states will impact where people live and work, that is, where they seek opportunity,” said the study.

For more information, click here to download the PDF file.

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