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.
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.