WalletHub: R.I. worst state in U.S. to start a business

RHODE ISLAND ranked No. 50 on WalletHub's 2019 Best and Worst States to Start a Business rankings. / PBN FILE PHOTO/ CHRIS BERGENHEIM
RHODE ISLAND ranked No. 50 on WalletHub's 2019 Best and Worst States to Start a Business rankings. / PBN FILE PHOTO/ CHRIS BERGENHEIM

PROVIDENCE – Rhode Island ranked as the worst state in the nation to start a business, according to a WalletHub report Monday.

The report considered 26 metrics in three categories: business environment, access to resources and business costs.

Rhode Island ranked No. 47 in the nation in 2017 and No. 48 in 2018.

Rhode Island’s highest ranking was No. 24 for access to capital metrics:

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  • No. 4 for higher-education assets
  • No. 13 for share of college-educated population
  • No. 25 for job growth from 2013 to 2017
  • No. 26 for venture investment amount per capita
  • No. 31 for human-capital availability
  • No. 33 for share of fast-growing firms
  • No. 38 for financing accessibility
  • No. 43 for working-age population growth
  • No. 47 for GDP growth from 2017 to 2018
  • No. 48 for “digital states” survey grade

The Ocean State ranked No. 36 in the U.S. for business costs metrics:

  • No. 13 for total spending on incentives as share of GDP
  • No. 27 on office-space affordability
  • No. 32 for corporate taxes
  • No. 33 on labor costs
  • No. 39 for total effective state and local tax rates on mature corporate headquarters
  • No. 40 for cost of living
  • No. 46 for average annual single health insurance premium per enrolled employee

Rhode Island earned its worst ranking for its business environment metrics ranking last in the nation:

  • No. 6 rank for growth of average business revenue
  • No. 25 for startups per capita
  • No. 32 for industry variety
  • No. 38 in the country for its share of “engaged workers”
  • No. 42 for growth in number of small businesses
  • No. 46 for fiver-year business survival rate
  • No. 48 for both average length of work week (in hours) and entrepreneurship index
  • No. 49 for industry-cluster strength

Texas ranked No. 1 overall this year. In New England, Maine ranked highest at No. 23 this year, followed by Massachusetts at No. 36, Vermont at No. 43, Connecticut at No. 46, New Hampshire at No. 48 and Rhode Island at No. 50.