Massachusetts’ Jobs-Unfriendly Regulatory Environment

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I know this can seem like a talking point, but there’s some new data to back up the claim.

The Kaufmann Foundation and have done a survey of small businesses to gauge “small business friendliness”. Massachusetts doesn’t fare so well — getting a D overall. We do well on ‘Networking Programs” but most other categories, like Regulation, Zoning, etc, are terrible. The data is based on a limited number of self-selected responses but its an interesting approach that indicates the importance of licensing and regulation on business creation.

One of the most important ways to create new jobs (which we need) is to get new businesses started. So, it would make sense to lower the barriers that prevent people for starting new businesses.

As if on cue, the Governor has launched a high profile effort to review state regulations and eliminate unnecessary ones. Let’s hope this effort doesn’t just go after the low-hanging fruit of outdated (and little-applied) regulations but steps on some toes and gets at these barriers to new businesses. Our licensing rules are, somewhat surprising, about middle-of-the-road relative to other states, but are still arbitrary and unneeded in many cases (2 years of training to be a barber? Licensing home entertainment installers?). Might be a good place to start.

Crossposted at Boston Daily.