Published November 1, 2001 | November 2001 issue
South Dakota is the top state in the nation for home-based businesses. According to the U.S. census, 6.4 percent of the state's workforce works from home, twice the national average of 3.2 percent. Montana ranks second nationally, at 5.9 percent.
According to local chamber of commerce officials, South Dakota's business environmentwith low barriers to entry and minimal regulationis particularly conducive to home-based business development. Similar conditions also led the Small Business Survival Committee, a national group, to rate South Dakota as the second best state in the nation in which to start a small business. The committee looked at crime rates, taxes, electricity costs, worker pay rates and labor laws to develop a ranking of states. Nevada was number 1; Minnesota ranked 46.
This news may provide some reassurance in the current slow economy. In late August, as these rankings were being announced, one of the state's larger employers, Gateway computer company, eliminated 4,700 jobs worldwide, including all 350 employees at its Vermillion call center.