Archive for October 2013

“One of the biggest missed opportunities for small business: health insurance tax credits “

The tax credits offered through the health insurance exchange are being called one of the biggest missed opportunities for small businesses. Business owners who think they cannot afford insurance or that insurance costs will not change, may want to think again.

Only through MNsure can businesses with 50 (or fewer) employees qualify for a tax credit that can lower costs.
Businesses with fewer than 25 full-time employees may also qualify for tax credits to help pay for employees’ coverage.
Special requirement exemptions for small businesses signing up with MNsure between Nov. 15 – Dec. 15 . (see next bullet)
Starting in 2014, the tax credit covers up to 50% of employer-paid premium costs for taxable organizations (35% for tax-exempt organizations). Businesses signing up between Nov. 15 – Dec. 15 do NOT have to meet these standard requirements.
◊  Provide health insurance to your employees
◊  Pay at least 50% of employee-only health insurance premiums
◊  Pay average annual wages of less than $50,000

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Membership grows 53 percent in first half of 2013. Join us!

UncleSamWantsYou4SBM_150x150-72Small Business Minnesota’s membership grew 53 percent in the first half of 2013. Currently membership is open at any level, although a $75 annual membership fee is recommended. When you join, be sure to take advantage of our membership benefits.

  1. Let us thank you by featuring your business on Small Business Minnesota’s social media networks, website and in our newsletter. Please provide a 30-50 word description of your business. If you wish, include a link to your website, contact information and/or your logo. Newsletter reach = 18,000.
  2. Host an afterhours networking event at your site. This is a great way to meet other small business owners and showcase your business. These events will be promoted by Small Business Minnesota. Get more information here.
  3. Event sponsorship: Sponsor a Small Business Minnesota event. Request more information here.
  4. Preferred vendor listing – Asked to be placed on our preferred vendor list.
  5. Get timely business-related alerts, updates and information. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
  6. Tell us more about you and how Small Business Minnesota can help: Please take 4 minutes to complete the Small Business Minnesota survey.

Legislative agenda in the works

Interested in public policy for small business? Send your ideas, concerns and/or interest in joining the government relations committee to audrey@smallbusinessmn.org. So far members have asked us to consider:

  •  minimum wage (including tip credit)
  •  environmental (chemical) policy to protect downstream small businesses
  •   tax fairness for small business
  •   active negotiating for small-business health insurance rates
  •   the remaining business-to-business services taxes
  •   education issues to ensure we have a properly trained and ready workforce for tomorrow
  •   property tax reform for businesses who own their business site

We want to hear from you. While we may not be able to work on all issues, we will certainly discuss each.

Are tax changes coming for small businesses?

According this Ernst & Young survey, “There is a strong desire among policymakers, the business community and the public for a tax system that is simpler, more conducive to economic growth and fairer… 42% of the respondents said federal tax reform would definitely or likely help their organization.”

In Minnesota, we begin with the 4th highest business tax rate but end up with the 11th lowest effective tax rate. Above and beyond our state’s $37 billion biennial budget, there is an additional $25 billion in tax expenditures. When it comes to business, few of these tax expenditures go to the state’s largest employer: small business. Small Business Minnesota plans to continue working toward tax-fairness for small businesses.