It often seems no matter where you go, policy makers are praising the economic contribution of small businesses and pledging to build an even stronger Main Street. But the degree to which they follow through on that promise varies widely from state to state, according to a new poll.

Thousands of employers from across the country recently evaluated their state and local governments on many of the factors that matter most to small firms—like tax rates, ease of hiring, and regulations—as part of a survey by Thumbtack, a local services marketplace, and Kauffman Foundation, an entrepreneurship research group.

“It is critical to the economic health of every city and state to create an entrepreneur-friendly environment,” Dane Stangler, director of research and policy at the Kauffman Foundation, wrote in the report. “Policymakers put themselves in the best position to encourage sustainable growth and long-term prosperity by listening to the voices of small business owners themselves.”

Researchers surveyed 7,766 small business owners and used the data to arrive at the following rankings. Check out the links below to see which states received the highest and lowest marks, and find out why they landed on their respective lists.

■ Top 12: America’s best states for small business

■ Bottom 12: America’s worst states for small business

What do you think of the rankings? Please tell us why you think your state should have been higher or lower in the comments.

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