1. California 6. Colorado

2. New York 7. Texas

3. Minnesota 8. Oklahoma

4. Connecticut 9. Rhode Island

5. Massachusetts 10. Louisiana

As INC.'s survey shows, the most striking development in the capital-resources area is the increasingly activist role of state governments in cultivating the growth of small businesses. The trend has been discernible since the late 1970s, when Massachusetts and Alaska established an array of programs -- direct loans, bond and loan guarantees, and venture capital funds -- to fill perceived gaps in the private capital markets. In the past year, the trend gathered steam, as 24 states instituted 31 new programs with the declared purpose of stimulating the small business sector.

For example, Wisconsin, which had no such programs in 1983, has since established four. Of the top 10 states in capital resources, California, Connecticut, Colorado, and Rhode Island all added one program each; 7 of the 10 now have three or more such programs. And 7 new states made initiatives in the venture capital category in the past year: Minnesota, Illinois, Wisconsin, Kansas, Mississippi, Maine, and North Carolina.

To be sure, the funds made available through these programs are not significant compared with the amount of money available at commercial banks. Industrial and commercial loans in 1983 ranged from New York's high of $4,788 per capita to South Carolina's low of $442. New York is a special case, however, a capital resource for the world, not just the state. On the other hand, this year's survey does give a better picture of in-state lending than last year's did. With the help of Data Resources Inc., of Lexington, Mass., our comparisons of bank loans are corrected for distortions caused by overseas lending from U.S. banks.

Venture capital investment surged in 1983, and the top-10 states clearly reflect the fact. SBIC activity declined in only 1 of the 10 -- Louisiana. In 4 of the 10 moreover, the per capita investments of SBICs increased dramatically, by $4 in Connecticut, by $2.17 in Massachusetts, by 86 cents in Oklahoma, and by $1.07 in Rhode Island. For Rhode Island, this was the critical factor in boosting its rank in the capital resources category.

Published on: Oct 1, 1984