Houston, we might have a problem

According to a report released  by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, South Carolina ranks last in entrepreneurial activity—down from 43rd last year.
The 2010 State Entrepreneurship Index evaluated a state’s percentage growth and per capita growth in business establishments, its business formation rate, the number of patents per thousand residents, and the gross receipts of sole proprietorships and partnerships per capita.
Last?  Don’t panic.  Nothing has changed other than a report has been made public.  We don’t know exactly how the Index weighed the factors but we need to find out and learn from it.
But before some partisans start pointing fingers (as I’m sure they will) at their pet complaints about the state as the cause of the ranking, we can rule at least one thing.  State regulations didn’t play a part in it.
Yesterday I talked with Monty Felix, chairman of the South Carolina Small Business Regulatory review Committee.  This committee came into existence in 2004 for the purpose of reviewing state regulations to determine if they are too much of a burden on small business.  If this 11-member volunteer committee feels that they do pose an unnecessary burden on the small business community, it has the authority to intervene and seek alternative methods of achieving the goal of the regulation without harming small business.
Monty told me that over the past 7 years his committee has reviewed about 300 proposed regulations and identified only 10 that raised their concern.  The committee worked with the state agency promulgating these new regulations and satisfactorily resolved the issues.
So let’s not hear any politicians scream that state regulations are hurting entrepreneurship.  We should find out on what measurements we fared poorly and address real problems.
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