Archive for February 2014

Export your goods and services? Minnesota is on the map.

Half of United State’s GDP comes from exporting, and Minnesota is on the map as a leading exporter according to this Business Insider story.

Small Business Minnesota recently met with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development’s Trade Office. We were surprised to learn, first, about the types of goods and services that are being exported from plates to consulting services. The state’s trade office offers assistance in locating export opportunities, translations, website development and more. Check out their calendar of weekly events and more.

Small Business Minnesota partners with Move MN

Small Business Minnesota has joined Move MN along with 160 other local business, employment and civic groups to build a long-range, gimmick-free funded, integrated transit/transportation system to eventually get Minnesota on par with other states.

“Small businesses have made it clear that they need get employees to work and goods to market in a safe, timely and efficient manner,” said Audrey Britton, Small Business Minnesota government and public relations chair. “While we may not be in complete agreement with the final funding decision, we understand that this is an important issue to the business community and we need to move forward.”

Related articles:

Small Business Minnesota listed as the business need behind Move MN’s efforts, StarTribune.
Minnesota is failing to keep up with transportation needs, StarTribune.

Your membership matters. Join or renew today.

Your membership matters. When Small Business Minnesota goes to bat for you, the first question we’re asked is, “How many members do you have?” The more members, the stronger our community and the stronger our voice. Please join or renew today.

More than likely, you’re already benefiting from public advocacy work done by Small Business Minnesota.  If you accept credit cards, your swipe fees have been lowered. We worked to repeal most proposed business-to-business sales taxes and will work to repeal the remaining few. We worked to ensure you would not pay a marketing fee for the health insurance exchange. Become a sustaining member for just $6.50 a month.  Please join or renew today.

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Featured new member: Kelco Services

Kelco Services provides commercial real estate consulting and construction management services to owners and tenants in the greater Twin Cities area. From feasibility analysis and preliminary drawings to full project development including financing acquisition, city liaison and entitlements, Jim Kellison has the expertise to bring your project in on time, on budget and in the highest quality. Visit  Kelco Services for more information and a few examples.

Congratulations to member Sanctuary Restaurant

Congratulations to Small Business Minnesota member Sanctuary Restaurant on their prestigious 2014 Zagat scores.  Sanctuary garnered the rating of “EXTRAORDINARY TO PERFECTION” with 27 (out of 30 possible) points for food, 27 points for decor and 28 points for service.  Making Sanctuary one of ‘the best restaurants in Minnesota’ based on customer reviews.
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Major changes to Minnesota LLC laws expected

Major changes to Minnesota LLC laws expected
by attorney Aaron Hall, a Small Business Minnesota member

The Minnesota Legislature is expected to make major changes to Minnesota LLC law during the 2014 legislative session. The legislation has overwhelming bipartisan support. If enacted, the changes would affect nearly 200,000 limited liability companies formed in Minnesota since 1993.

The changes include shifting from a corporation-based model to the partnership-based model used by all other states, permitting a “series LLC,” and adopting best practices recommended by business law experts. The legislation has a grandfather clause allowing existing LLCs to continue under some of the old provisions. Read more

MNsure for small business update

Enrollment open all year long for small businesses with employees: Businesses with employees may enroll anytime during the year.

Enrollment ends March 31 for one-person shops: Open enrollment ends March 31 for single-person shops (businesses with no employees) wanting coverage in 2014.
More information.

Small Business Minnesota’s take on the MNsure rollout

The MNsure rollout: It’s important to remember that the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is a public policy that prevents cancellation of health insurance coverage when a person becomes ill, prohibits denying coverage based on a pre-existing condition, and much more.

The Affordable Care Act also requires each state to have an online insurance exchange where people can shop for insurance. In Minnesota that is known as “MNsure.”  Like many large IT rollouts, MNsure’s was less than ideal but is continually improving.

Beyond the IT concerns, Small Business Minnesota met with the MNsure board chair, the new MNsure executive director and members of the MNsure small business advisory committee to discuss other concerns and provide recommendations. Many of our recommendations have been implemented.

This MPR report provides an accurate, concise outline of the reasons behind the MNsure rocky rollout.
Faulty MNsure software never tested due to federal delays, MPR.

Sound chemical policies benefit small businesses: Small business voices needed

by Kathleen Schuler, Conservation Minnesota program director and a Small Business Minnesota member

More small businesses are adding their voices to a growing coalition concerned about sustainable and safe businesses practices, and safe food and products for their employees, customers and families.

What small businesses say: Nine out of 10 small businesses surveyed by the American Sustainable Business Council believe that chemical manufacturers should be held responsible for ensuring that chemicals they use are safe and 94 percent support disclosure of potentially harmful chemicals used in products. Additionally, the survey found that 87 percent of small businesses think government regulations should ensure that chemicals used in growing food are safe and 73 percent support government regulation to assure that consumer products are free of toxins.

The challenge: The federal regulation of industrial chemicals through the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) is ineffective in controlling the more than 80,000 chemicals used in commerce today. Over its 35-year history, only five chemicals have been restricted under TSCA and the EPA has required testing on only 200 chemicals. TSCA is so weak the EPA could not even regulate asbestos, despite 10 years of rulemaking.

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Small Business Minnesota on social media.

Are you a Small Business Minnesota member on social media? Let us know so we can follow you, re-tweet you and like you even more than we already do. Message us at twitter @SmallBusinessMN and www.Facebook.com/SmallBusinessMN.

facebookNot on social media, here’s a little of what you may have missed:twitter

Completing your taxes? Some tools and tips from the MN Department of Revenue. http://ow.ly/tNHLf

New corporate structure fits between a for-profit and a nonprofit. http://ow.ly/tePpW

Some restaurant owners pushing back on Minneapolis’ 70/30 (food/alcohol) rule. http://ow.ly/tMvYZ

DEED grants to help manufacturers grow, address ‘skills gap’. http://ow.ly/tejtm

Minnesota ranks fourth in Gallup Job Creation Index. http://goo.gl/3OtCD0

Minnesota summit spotlights importance of women’s economic status. http://ow.ly/toFsd

A history of minimum wage in Minnesota. http://ow.ly/tmr3l

New corporate structure fits between a for-profit and a nonprofit. http://ow.ly/tePpW

DEED grants to help manufacturers grow, address ‘skills gap.’ http://ow.ly/tejtm

Minnesota ranks fourth in Gallup Job Creation Index: http://goo.gl/3OtCD0

Minnesota summit spotlights importance of women’s economic status. http://ow.ly/toFsd

A history of minimum wage in Minnesota. http://ow.ly/tmr3l