MNsure 2015 Signup Tips

John Waterbury, a Small Business Minnesota member and a well-seasoned health insurance professional, has penned an article for us that highlights some issues – little known ‘gotchas’ – in MNsure that business owners and individuals should be aware of.  This is well worth reading and may save you some dollars and frustration. This is the link to the entire article.

Our Legislative Impact

A list of links to the sections in the 2013-2014 small business legislative session wrap up.

Small-business property tax relief passed
Other 2014 tax laws affecting small business owners
Business-to-business services taxes repealed
Women’s Economic Security Act becomes law
Minimum wage increase adjusted for small businesses
Transit and transportation
MNsure and affordable healthcare
Net neutrality and Internet access
New LLC laws
Education for our future workforce
Predatory lenders targeting small business owners
Minnesota’s $25 billion in tax expenditures
Sustainable business practices
Misrepresentation on business filing with the Secretary of State
Impartial justice affects small businesses
Citizens United

State property tax relief for small business owners proposed. Act now!

Concerned about state property taxes? Small Business Minnesota recently testified on state property-tax relief for small-business owners, a top concern brought to us by our members. The bill, to lower state property taxes for small-business property, passed through the House and is now headed to the Senate Tax Committee where the fate of this bill is unknown. Small-business owners interested in state property-tax relief need to email members of the Senate Tax Committee (especially the chair) and cc the bill’s author, Representative Diane Loeffler. Let Senate Tax Committee members and chair know you support efforts to lower small business property taxes. If possible, outline how state property taxes have affected your business.

Related article via MN2020

Minimum wage and your small business

As of the time of writing this newsletter, the Minimum Wage Conference Committee has decided to increase Minnesota’s employer-paid minimum wage by 2016 to $9.50 per hour for large businesses and $7.75 for businesses with less than $500,000 in revenue. There is a lower minimum for very small businesses, trainees, teens, and employees from other countries working at places such as resorts. A total exemption from a minimum wage remains for very small businesses, babysitters, and others.

After much debate, the bill will include an automatic annual increase to the minimum wage based on inflation. A proposed constitutional amendment has been dropped.

The conference committee bill will not address wages earned from tips. The hospitality industry had sought a $6.15 to $7.25 base wage paid by the employer with wages earned through tips ensuring that $9.50 per hour or more was earned.

Read more

Are your employees and products stuck in a Minnesota pothole?

If you want your employees to get to work and your goods to get to market in a safe, efficient manner, join Move MN to support all modes of transportation: road, bus, rail, paths.  As you may know, Small Business Minnesota is a member of Move MN, a diverse statewide campaign to fix the state’s transportation system. However, you and/or your business can join at no cost. Find more information at www.MoveMN.org. Join here http://ow.ly/vpfeg.

“The state House and Senate Transportation Committees have started the conversation of fixing Minnesota’s urgent transportation needs through a long-term, sustainable, dedicated funding for all modes of transportation,” said Darin Broton, MoveMN chair. “The conversation shouldn’t end because some legislative leaders think transportation funding is too hard to solve in an election year. The legislative session ends May 19 and there is plenty of time to make transportation a priority.”

Legislators have heard from some members in the business community that transportation funding is not important this year. If transportation is important to you, your employees, and your business, help make small-business voices like yours heard and email your legislator today.

Small Business Minnesota lobbies Congress for tax haven fix, transparency

Small Business Minnesota and others participated in a lobby day last week in collaboration with the Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency (FACT) coalition. They shared the business case for ending offshore tax haven abuse and other small-business tax fairness concerns with their congressional delegations.

“While Small Business Minnesota tends to keep our focus within the state, some issues are best resolved at the federal level,” said Audrey Briton, Small Business Minnesota’s public and government relations director, who visited the offices of Minnesota congresspeople. “When some issues are addressed only at the state level, it can provide an incentive for businesses to simply move to other states.”

Read more

MNsure: Small businesses can enroll all year long

While MNsure open enrollment is now closed, MNsure special enrollment has begun. Small businesses with employees may enroll throughout the year. There are also exceptions for enrollment after March 31 for some one-person shops, individuals and families.

Information on one-person shops/individual or family insurance.

Information on small businesses offering insurance to employees.

Minnesota Pollution Control small-business service program

Small Business Minnesota recently posted information on social media about several small-business grants, including grants to replace common receipt paper with toxin-free paper and environmental incentives for diesel-engine owners. Find out more.

Free, confidential small-business environmental assistance and grants

The Minnesota Small Business Environmental Assistance Program (SBEAP) provides free, confidential environmental assistance to small businesses. SBEAP helps small businesses maintain compliance with new and existing environmental requirements, reduce or eliminate the amounts of emissions and wastes generated, and reduce regulatory obligation.

Small businesses are generally defined as independently owned and operated businesses with fewer than 100 employees that are not major sources of waste or emissions.

Read more

Upcoming Minnesota exporting events

http://mn.gov/deed/business/exporting/events/