The Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy has compiled data for each U.S. state and territory, giving an excellent snapshot of each region's small business activity (in 2006, the most recent year for which data is available).
For example, California had 718,220 small businesses in 2006 and created 87.6 percent of the state's net new jobs from 2004 to 2005. (The SBA defines small businesses as employing fewer than 500 people.)
The health care and social assistance industry was Louisiana's largest small business employer in 2006, while the construction industry was Virginia and Maryland's biggest small business employer that year.
The report pulls together information on each region's number of firms, demographics of business ownership, small business income, banking, business turnover, industry composition and employment gains and losses by business size.
It's worth a visit to check out that status of small business in your state.
By Sharon McLoone | January 27, 2009; 8:00 AM ET Data Points Small Business Resources