Just how friendly toward entrepreneurs are the policies Michigan's elected officials implemented in 2006? According to the Small Business Survival Index 2007 released this month, those policies were the sixth friendliest in the nation. That's an improvement over last year when the state's policies affecting small businesses ranked tenth.


The Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council conducted the twelfth annual study, which ranks all 50 states and the District of Columbia according to 31 major government-imposed or government-related costs that affect small businesses. Those costs include personal income tax, capital gains tax rates, health insurance mandates, electricity costs, and workers compensation benefits.


Among the Index's findings was the rate of job growth across the country. From August 2003 to August 2007 job growth in the top 25 states in the Index was 8 percent, compared to 4.7 percent job growth in the bottom 25 states and D.C.


That means that during that four years, the top 25 states created jobs 70 percent faster that the bottom 26 of the Index. The study did not indicate how many jobs Michigan entrepreneurs established.


To-date, Michigan's 21st Century Jobs Fund has issued $135 million in grants and loans to 67 companies, non-profits, and research firms in the industries of life sciences, alternative energy, homeland security/defense, and automotive/advanced manufacturing.


Source: Michigan Economic Development Corporation