Happy New Year to all of those in Maine. Well, maybe not if you want to start a business here.

At least that's the word from the folks over at Forbes, who took a blow torch to the Pine Tree State in its annual small business friendly state report.

According to the financial site, Maine ranks 45th in the country for the best states to start a small business. Not great, Bob.

The scoring system was scaled to 100, with North Dakota gaining that score for being the best on the list. Maine's score was a balmy 17. Yikes.

The scoring was based on five major categories: business costs, business climate, financial accessibility, economy, and workforce. This was further broken down into 18 subcategories to get it as accurate as possible. The averages of these scores would be weighted to get the scores. You can read more about the methodology here.

Maine's worst score came in business costs. This isn't surprising whatsoever. Maine is one of the most expensive states to live in, so it makes sense it would struggle here. Financial accessibility and the state's economy also didn't do much to help out.

Interestingly enough, Maine scored the best in workforce. I guess that's a solid nod to our wonderful Maine work ethic here. A hat tip to all of you hand-workers out there.

It's beyond brutal to see Maine so low on this list. I feel like this is a state that truly is run by all of the wonderful and hardworking small business owners. The last thing we need to do is discourage future entrepreneurs from trying to follow their dream. Hopefully reports like this and others will possibly open some eyes that this state is doing a disservice to so many folks.

Overall, it was a pretty marginal report for New England. The highest ranked state was New Hampshire at 18, and the lowest was Vermont, which sadly came in dead last.

Congrats to Mississippi. The state was finally not last in something.

You can find the entire list here.

Counties with the highest unemployment rate in Maine

Stacker compiled a list of counties with the highest unemployment in Maine using data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Gallery Credit: Stacker

Here's Where Maine Home-Buyers Came from During the Pandemic

Here is a list of Maine's single-family home buyers from the pandemic. It's a closer look at what state they came from.

This does not include sales from Maine buyers or those from Puerto Rico, military bases, and other territories.

A big hat tip to Mainebiz and Maine Real Estate Systems, Inc. for the info.

Gallery Credit: Chris Sedenka

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