WASHINGTON - The Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council (SBE Council) has released its 11th annual ranking of the states according to their public policy climates for small business in the "Small Business Survival Index 2006."

According to Raymond J. Keating, SBE Council chief economist and author of the study, "In politics, talk is cheap, and everybody talks about how much they love small business. The ‘Small Business Survival Index 2006' moves past the rhetoric to actually rank the states according to the policies implemented in terms of taxes, regulation, spending, and other governmental costs affecting the entrepreneurial sector of our economy."

In terms of their policy environments, the most entrepreneur-friendly states according to the "Small Business Survival Index 2006" are: 1) South Dakota, 2) Nevada, 3) Wyoming, 4) Alabama, 5) Washington, 6) Florida, 7) Mississippi, 8) Colorado, 9) Texas, 10) Michigan, 11) South Carolina, 12) Indiana, 13) Tennessee, 14) Virginia, and 15) Arizona. In contrast, the least entrepreneur-friendly states are: 37) West Virginia, 38) Ohio, 39) Oregon, 40) North Carolina, 41) Iowa, 42) Vermont, 43) Massachusetts, 44) Hawaii, 45) New York, 46) Minnesota, 47) Maine, 48) Rhode Island, 49) California, 50) New Jersey, and 51) District of Columbia.

Keating added, "It needs to be recognized that countless issues play into human decision-making. But governmental costs among the states will have an impact on where people live, work, and start up businesses."

For a copy of the "Small Business Survival Index 2006," visit http://sbecouncil.org/Media/pdf/SBSI_2006.pdf.

Publication date: 11/13/2006