Study: New Hampshire among worst states to start a business

By Dave Fidlin | The Center Square

New Hampshire ranked toward the bottom of a recently released study on the best and worst states to start a business.

Washington, D.C.-based personal finance website WalletHub brought together a panel of academic experts to formulate the study, looking at how each of the 50 states stacked up in 26 specific indicators.

The indicators were lumped into three categories and ranked accordingly. Across the U.S., New Hampshire ranked No. 46 in the study in two of the three categories – business environment and access to resources – and notched a No. 39 for the business costs ranking.

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Additionally, New Hampshire ranked No. 49 on the availability of human capital, edging out only neighboring state Vermont, which was at the bottom.

With other factors brought into the mix, New Hampshire overall ranked No. 48 in the study.

A number of other New England states also scored toward the bottom of WalletHub’s overall analysis. Rhode Island fell to the bottom, at No. 50, while Connecticut and Vermont fared only slightly better at No. 43 and No. 46, respectively.

Other New England states fared slightly better, including Maine, which notched a No. 23 ranking in the study, and Massachusetts, at No. 36.

In terms of specific indicators, New Hampshire was singled out with low rankings in several areas, including spending on incentives as lures for small businesses, compared to the gross domestic product. The state ranked No. 48 on the item.

Additionally, New Hampshire ranked No. 49 on the availability of human capital, edging out only neighboring state Vermont, which was at the bottom.

In addition to rankings, WalletHub’s experts scored states on each of the indicators and offered weighted scores, in some instances. New Hampshire’s total score, based on the three categories, was 37.94; by comparison, top-ranking Texas earned a score of 61.05 in the study.

The range of specific indicators that went under the microscope in the study include average employees’ workweeks, how many startup businesses survive after five years, state-specific corporate tax policies and the overall regional cost of living.

Four academics had a role in reviewing data and ranking the states in this specific WalletHub study.

Brandon Scott Cohen, senior lecturer with the College of Business and Innovation at the University of Toledo, was among the participants. When asked about state-specific policies, Cohen said they could play a factor.

“I think corporate tax levels are more relevant to where a business is started, as opposed to whether a business is started,” Cohen said in a question and answer segment on WalletHub’s website.

Cohen added, “I don’t know anyone, at least not in the United States, who said, ‘I am not starting a business because taxes are too high.’ Money flows to the lowest barriers, and those entrepreneurs that want to start a business will simply move if the state policies are too high for the business to thrive.”

On a broader level, when asked about the policies enacted within President Donald Trump’s administration, Patrick Gaughan, executive director of the Innovation Practice Center and associate law professor with the University of Akron, offered affirmative statements.

“On the whole, the economic policies of the Trump administration will promote new business development,” Gaughan said. “This is the result of a pro-business, pro-investor and ‘U.S. first’ attitude.”

But Gaughan did offer a caveat to his statement. “The potential for new business development will not be maximized by the Trump administration policies because the broader economic stability and predictability are not as good as they should be,” he said.

Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons and Wikimedia Commons/formulanone
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7 thoughts on “Study: New Hampshire among worst states to start a business

  1. The article refers to “human capital.” What is human capital? — Does it mean the brain drain is winning?

  2. Beware: Both the Left and the Right can be purveyors of statistical Kool-Aid bias.

    Indeed, NH is on a path of questionable sustainability. But Vermont is considerably worse off – for obvious reasons. This study, on the other hand, is obviously flawed, and the headline of this report is deceptive in its emphasis.

    According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, over the last ten years, Vermont’s workforce declined -4.05%. Over the same period, NH’s workforce expanded by +2.52%. Meanwhile, Rhode Island’s workforce declined -2.42%. NY’s workforce declined -.81%. Maine’s workforce declined -.06%.

    Consider too where the jobs are. In Vermont, 38.9% of VT’s workforce is employed in government, health and education. In NH, 31.6% of its jobs are in government, health and education. Even Texas, the top ranked state in the U.S., has 28.9% of its jobs in government, health and education, 34% fewer, relative to population, than Vermont’s circumstance.

    I’ll take NH over VT any day. I just can’t afford to sell my VT house because no one wants to pay to live here….even while VT offers a $10K incentive to do so. Go figure.

  3. Watch as New Hampshire fails now that the Democrats have taken over the legislature and proposing the same progressive crap that the other Democrat-controlled states have to deal with.

    • Yep I have a brother who lives in NH. For the first time in 20 years he has lived there he starting to think about moving. He sees the progressive writing on the wall.

  4. Straddled the border doing business in both Vermont and New Hampshire for a long, long, time and have always said that I would rather deal with the IRS than the state of Vermont. I can’t imagine a state more hostile to business than Vermont. Never had a problem with New Hampshire, but Vermont is a different story and it is no wonder that business start ups in Vermont are dead in the water. If the current trend continues things are only going to go from bad to worse. I have a good idea how business owners in Venezuela must have felt working under the Chavez regime.

  5. So what’s the point, is this article trying to tell me that Vermont is going gangbusters
    with new business endeavors ??

    Vermont is still in the bottom percentile and I don’t see it climbing any time soon, as
    any investors looking at VT and all of it Debt/liabilities Issues …..No Thanks !!

    Let’s see retirees leaving, college grads looking for greener pastures to start there
    lives with lower taxes……..

    Time to clean up the State House.

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