Members from Idaho and Oklahoma topped the list, while Massachusetts and Vermont finished last.
The Senate and House delegations from Idaho and Oklahoma support small businesses more than those from other states, according to a new study by the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council.
The study ranked Idaho and Oklahoma at the top of the list for states that have members of Congress regularly voting on issues that support entrepreneurs and the small-business community.
The ranking criteria was based on the best policy environment for small business and entrepreneurship -- defined by the SBE Council as one where taxes are low, the regulatory burden is light, and legislative initiatives enable competition, innovation, and open commerce. Members of Congress were given 1 point when they voted for small businesses and 0 points when voting against small businesses.
The surveys are performed after each congressional session, and votes of individual members are tabulated and grouped by state.
"Most politicians will talk favorably about small business and entrepreneurs, but what we want to do is to see if the votes line up," said Raymond Keating, chief economist of the SBE Council, a nonpartisan small-business advocacy group based in Washington.
The findings of the study show that many Midwest states have members of Congress who usually support small-business initiatives: Idaho (95.7), Oklahoma (95.7), Alaska (94.3), Wyoming (94.3), Utah (92.4), Kentucky (92.1), Alabama (91.0), Nebraska (90.6), Kansas (88.6), and New Hampshire (87.0) round out the top 10.
Many states in the Northeast -- with some exceptions -- have members of Congress who routinely vote against policy which supports small businesses, according to the study. Washington (42.8), New Jersey (41.6), Connecticut (41.2), New York (38.9), Maryland (35.2), North Dakota (33.8), Maine (30.9), Hawaii (24.1), Rhode Island (18.1), Vermont (15.7), Massachusetts (12.2) round out the bottom 10.