WI ranked #30 as Most Entrepreneurially Friendly State

The Small Business & Entrepreneurial Council has ranked Wisconsin #30 in its 14th annual ranking of states using its Small Business Survivability Index (SBSI) that ranks every state in the union on a wide range of characteristics that should be positives for entrepreneurs.

Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council 2009 SBSI Analysis
Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council 2009 SBSI Analysis

I went through the report and pulled out the state’s ranking on several criteria.  Here are some positive indicators of where WI stands in the rankings:

  • Government 5 year Spending Trend – 5 (this was based on an index of % increases vs. US state trends)
  • # Government Employees/100 residents –7 (tie) 5.03
  • Sales & Excise Taxes as % of Income – 10 (tie) 2.66
  • Top Individual Cap Gains Tax – 12 (3.1%)
  • Crime rate – 18
  • # of health Insurance Mandates – 16 (tie) 1.7
  • State Highway Cost Effectiveness –21
  • Per Capita Government Spending –26 (tie)

Where we aren’t doing as well as our #30 ranking according to the report:

  • Property Taxes as % of Income –42 (4.14%)
  • Top Personal Income Tax –40 (7.75%)
  • State Gas Tax – 41 (how about the cost of tolls in lower ranked states?) .329
  • State Diesel Tax –42 (.329)
  • Workers Comp/$100 wages – 37
  • Unemployment Tax (% of pay) – 33 (tie) 2.47
  • Top Corp Cap Gain Tax – 33 (tie) 7.9%
  • State Corp Income Tax – 32 (tie) 7.9%
  • Electric Utility Costs 31 (tie) (how about water costs?)

There were a couple of data points that I think should have been in this study – % of population with a college degree, higher education investment/capita, # of students in college, # of angel financing groups, $ of venture capital funding, # new business start-ups.  These would have been indicators of potential entrepreneurship and existing entrepreneurship.

I’d suggest that the WMC take a look at this report and stop whining and start representing and encouraging entrepreneurship in our state.  This is also a report that the political candidates for Governor, the Wisconsin Technology Council, Forward Wisconsin and Economic Development Professionals around the state need to analyze closely.


Related Articles

4 thoughts on “WI ranked #30 as Most Entrepreneurially Friendly State

  1. Why would the ranking by WMC’s fault. The poor rankings all relate to excessive taxes. Unless you are willing to concede Wisconsin tax policy to WMC I’d say this falls in the ambit of a government problem

  2. Why does the responsiblity fall to WMC to encourage entreprenuership? Last time I looked Democrats hold all the branches of government. And what are they doing?

    WMC can encourage all they want, but it won’t do any good if the folks in charge keep fighting them on it.

    1. WMC is supposed to be the organization representing business in the state. Does that not mean that they should be working for all businesses? WMC is really only a representative of legacy companies and industries in this state. They do not represent the high tech and growing industries like biotechnology or medical technology. This is one of the reasons that Epic, one of the fastest growing companies in the state dropped their membership in this lobbying organization.

      They also do not represent entrepreneurial organizations or businesses. When was the last time you heard them promulgating policies for small businesses or running programs for small businesses? This organization is lost in the past and focuses on the political lobbying of NO, rather than lobbying for what we can do and how we can help small businesses to grow and large businesses to change and adapt for the future.

      I’d ask you to look at the item State Rankings of the number of Government Employees (Full time equivalent state and local government employees per 100 residents) WI ranks #7 at 5.03. I’d also ask you to look at State Rankings of State and Local Government 5 year spending trends (Index of percentage increase vs. U.S. state and local trends) WI ranks #5. What this indicates is that government efficiency is higher than elsewhere and that the expenditures have not increased at the rate that 45 other states have over the past 5 years. This too me is a positive indicator of what government is doing.

  3. McMM,

    The problem is that these investment credits are truly small potatoes compared to the cap. gains tax. Plus, they are targeted at biotech firms that are more likely than not to fail, or get bought out by Big Pharma (East Coast). Thy are not targeted at every business looking to set up or expand in WI.

    For an entrepreneur, the biggest obstacle is startup capital and associated costs. In WI, you have a disincentive to startup a business that will generate capital gains.

    As far as the education spending per capita, yes we are high, but my own intuition states that all of the graduates of the sciences, engineering, IT, mathematics, etc. are leaving when they graduate; go where there is opportunity as the report said.

    Bottom line is this: crow all you want about WMC, but realize that at the end of the day is that their problems are ALL of our problems; and this state’s government is in desperate need of a makeover. Businesses fear government that moves in manners that are ham-fisted in nature.

Comments are closed.