3 Things You Should Know About Small Business: Dec. 14

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- What's happening in small business today?

1. Food incubators launch startups. Reuters has a great story on the growing number of incubators and accelerators offering communal programs for food entrepreneurs, allowing the startups to cash in on the growing "foodie" movement.

Similar to tech entrepreneurs, food-based startups often need help to get started, from defraying the costs of the gourmet ingredients to needing space to prepare their goods, whether it to be sold at farmers markets, food trucks or boutique retail establishments. And that's where the growing number of incubators and accelerators, such as the Organic Food Incubator and City Cookhouse in New York City to the ARK in Arkansas come in.

2. Hot franchises in 2013. Thinking about investing in a franchise? Entrepreneur's 34th annual Franchise 500 report says the industry is finally back on an upswing after several tough years.

Those who made the top 10 list included some perennial favorites like Hampton hotels, Subway and 7-Eleven, along with lesser-known, yet quickly growing, franchises such as Anytime Fitness as well as service-specific franchises like disaster-recovery and remediation franchise Servepro. Just 24 hours after Hurricane Sandy, the 45-year-old company dispatched hundreds of crews to help with the cleanup, the article says.

3. And the most unfriendly state for small business is ... California! According to the SBE Council's U.S. Business Policy Index 2012.

"With all of the focus on federal policy in recent times, it is important to remember that policies at the state level have a major effect on entrepreneurs and businesses for better or for worse," says SBE Council CEO Karen Kerrigan.

>>>Best and Worst States for Small Business 2011

"Small businesses are benefitting from policy competition between the states, and it is encouraging to see leadership on key issues such as fiscal reform, sensible spending, and tax and regulatory relief," Kerrigan says. "The difference in policy costs from state to state can be quite striking, and that matters for entrepreneurship and for a state's economy."

Other states that ranked low on the index included New Jersey, Vermont, New York and Maine.

States that ranked highest in terms of pro-small business policy were South Dakota, Nevada, Texas, Wyoming and Florida, rounding out the top five states.

-- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.

To contact Laurie Kulikowski, send an email to: Laurie.Kulikowski@thestreet.com.

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