Still Room to Improve State’s Small Business Climate

02.01.2012
Small Business

Index put Connecticut at 44th nationally; neighbors fare worse

By Bill DeRosa

Although the bipartisan jobs bill passed last October contained a number of important measures to help small businesses create jobs and grow, Connecticut still has some work to do to shake the national perception that we’re not a very friendly state for small firms.

According to the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council’s Small Business Survival index 2011, Connecticut ranks 44th out of 50 states and the District of Columbia in small-business-friendliness. That’s a drop of three places from 2010, when Connecticut ranked 41st.

The index rates states according to their public-policy climates for small business and entrepreneurship based on 44 major government-imposed or government-related costs. Among the factors contributing to Connecticut’s low ranking are:

  • High corporate income and corporate capital gains taxes
  • High property taxes
  • Highest gas taxes in the country
  • High state and local government spending and debt
  • Large number of health insurance mandates
  • Second-highest electric utility costs in the country

Positives cited in the report include fairly low consumption-based and wireless taxes and a low crime rate.

“The Malloy administration and Democratic and Republican legislators came together at the end of 2011 to set a new tone for addressing our economic challenges, particularly in regard to small businesses,” says Joe Brennan, CBIA senior vice president of public policy. “It was a good start, but we need to continue pursuing fiscal and economic strategies that will improve our competitiveness as a state and help all our companies grow over the long term.”

Although Massachusetts (42) ranked slightly ahead of Connecticut, many of our other neighbors fared worse: Maine (45), Rhode Island (47), Vermont (48), New Jersey (49), and New York (50) all came in below the Nutmeg State. The top five were South Dakota, Nevada, Texas, Wyoming, and South Carolina.


Bill DeRosa is editor of CBIA News. He can be reached at bill.derosa@cbia.com.

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CBIA IS FIGHTING TO MAKE CONNECTICUT A TOP STATE FOR BUSINESS, JOBS, AND ECONOMIC GROWTH. A BETTER BUSINESS CLIMATE MEANS A BRIGHTER FUTURE FOR EVERYONE.