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December 13 08:52 AM

State makes significant jump in national small business rankings

State climbs four positions to No. 21 in Small Business Policy Index

BATON ROUGE, La.—On Thursday, the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council reflected Louisiana’s significant improvement in a national ranking of small business climates, with Louisiana climbing four spots to No. 21 in the SBE Council’s Small Business Policy Index. The annual ranking of 47 tax, policy and economic indicators shows Louisiana climbing five spots from 2011, when the state ranked No. 26. Since January 2008, Louisiana has improved 10 positions from No. 31.

Gov. Bobby Jindal said, “These significant gains in a national small business ranking confirm that our efforts to make Louisiana a highly attractive state for small businesses are working. We have worked consistently to keep taxes in check and to keep costs down for entrepreneurs so that they can build their businesses successfully and truly live the American dream here in Louisiana. That’s why we have more people working in Louisiana than at any other point in our state’s history, and the best is yet to come.”

The Small Business Policy Index shows Louisiana performing in the Top 10 on several key economic indicators:

• No. 5 for the lowest adjusted unemployment taxes.

• No. 6 for the lowest percentage of personal income paid for state and local property taxes.

• No. 7 for the lowest electric utility costs.

• No. 9 for the lowest state diesel taxes in the U.S.

Partly because the SBE Council adjusts its tax rankings to take into account federal income tax deductibility for those states like Louisiana with that tax deduction, Louisiana ranks just outside the Top 10 for personal income tax rates (No. 14) and corporate income tax rates (No. 14). The index annually measures a wide array of tax, regulatory and government spending indicators that impact small businesses and entrepreneurs across a broad range of industries and types of businesses.

The SBE Council Small Business

Policy Index mirrors Louisiana’s consistent rise across a whole spectrum of national business climate rankings. In every major business climate ranking, Louisiana stands higher today than it ever did before 2008, including rankings by Area Development, Beacon Hill Institute, Business Facilities, Chief Executive, CNBC, Forbes, Pollina Corporate Real Estate and Site Selection.

In November, the Site Selection 2013 Top U.S. Business Climates report placed Louisiana No. 6, the state’s highest-ever placement in the magazine’s annual ranking. In July, Business Facilities ranked Louisiana No. 4 among the best U.S. business climates in its 2013 Rankings Report – Louisiana’s highest business climate ranking ever – and in October, Area Development placed Louisiana No. 6 in its Top States for Doing Business report.

Since 2008, Louisiana has secured economic development wins that are resulting in more than 83,000 new jobs, more than $54 billion in new capital investment and hundreds of millions of dollars in new sales for the state’s small businesses.

The state continues to fare well on other measurements of small business activity. In 2013, the Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity revealed Louisiana moving into the Top 10 states having the highest rate of entrepreneurial activity. Since 2008, Louisiana has moved from No. 18 to No. 9 on the Kauffman Index, which shows that 400 out of 100,000 adults each month created a new business in 2012. That’s up from 265 out of 100,000 adults in 2008.

During 2013, LED and the Louisiana Small Business Development Center network (which LED funds) have supported, counseled or otherwise assisted nearly 10,000 small businesses and individuals across the state. Through early December, those efforts alone generated 1,281 new jobs, retained 415 existing jobs and helped launch 171 new businesses representing $55.4 million in new debt and equity investment for Louisiana small businesses. These activities also generated an increase in sales at assisted small businesses of $34 million, a more than 100 percent improvement over results in the prior year.

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