Small business priorities, short list, for the 2015 Minnesota Legislative Session

Small Business Minnesota is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership association for all small business, defined has having less than 100 employees, owners in the state of Minnesota. There are more than 500,000 small businesses in Minnesota. Small businesses employ 52% of the workforce, contribute 50% of the GDP, make up 70% of our exporters (contributing 30% revenue), create the vast majority of patents and are creating two of every three new jobs.

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Small Business Minnesota releases paper, “Small Business, the Affordable Care Act and MNsure”

MINNEAPOLIS — April 15, 2015 — Small Business Minnesota, a nonprofit, nonpartisan, statewide small business association, released a paper today, Small Business, the Affordable Care Act and MNsure.”

“Affordable healthcare consistently remains the No. 1 concern for small business owners,” said Audrey Britton, Small Business Minnesota public relations chair. “This concern trumps concerns with taxes and regulations. Yet, during healthcare debates, small business is rarely included.”

According to the paper, small business is a big economic driver in the U.S. About 98 percent of Minnesota businesses are small. Across the nation, small businesses employ more than 50 percent of the workforce, contribute to more than 50 percent of the GDP, are now hiring two of every three new employees, generate the vast majority of patents and make up 70 percent of our exporters, generating about 30 percent of our export revenue.

“Talking about small business might help get a politician elected but we’d rather see those words put into action,” said Britton, citing a poll from the paper that demonstrates how favorably the public reacts to the term “small business” during an election year. “Outlined in the paper are practical changes that can be easily made to start ensuring small-businesses can have access to affordable healthcare.”

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Attention! Inventors and Product Developers

Small Business Minnesota has been offered a great opportunity to help an inventor, product developer, or an owner of an expanding small business to ‘screen’ for a potential spot on The Shark Tank.

Give Audrey a call or send her an email and she’ll send you some information.
(612) 807-0311 or

A very interesting opportunity to gain attention and an investment.

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.

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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 Join here

“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.”

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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.