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Small Business Minnesota quoted in Finance & Commerce

Business leaders statewide rallied around the cause, but some groups worry a blanket tax-cut proposal could shortchange certain segments of the marketplace. Small business owners, for example, already get squeezed out by bigger players, said Audrey Britton, a spokeswoman for nonprofit Small Business Minnesota. “That has tax implications, when legislators don’t understand what small business in Minnesota looks like,” Britton said. “Their tax policy is often not reflective of what’s actually going on.”

Small Business Minnesota to represent main street business as a pillar of the rural economy at 35th COACT Farm Picnic at Pierz Park Aug. 16

Every August Minnesota COACT and Morrison County Farmers Union celebrate the coming together of main street businesses and family farms as pillars of Minnesota’s rural economy at the annual Farm Picnic.  Featured speaker will be Audrey Britton, chair of Small Business Minnesota, and its director of public and government relations.  She will focus on the economic importance of Minnesota’s small businesses which comprise the state’s largest employer, and will update the issues they face, including rising health insurance deductibles, broad band internet access, tax equity between small businesses and large corporations, and infrastructure. “For our 35th anniversary, COACT is gratified that Ms. Britton follows the tradition of Paul Wellstone and the Diocese’s Bishop George Speltz who, at the very first Farm […]

SBM says “no” to health insurance premiums hikes on small businesses

Small Business Minnesota submitted comments to the Department of Commerce requesting that they deny proposed health insurance premium rate hikes on small businesses and individual business owners. Surveys consistently indicate that affordable health insurance is the top priority of most business owners. Small business owners pay more per employee for the same health insurance policies as their big-business counterparts. The decision-making process from this point forward is closed to the public and the decision will be announced October 1, 2015.  View Proposed Health Insurance Premiums letter.

CNBC ranks Minnesota No.1 for Business

“Leave it to the North Star State to chart a new course to competitiveness.” A CNBC analysis ranked Minnesota the top state for business in the country. The number one slot was achieved by taking a different route from the previous eight winners. “Rather than just seeking the lowest taxes or the highest incentives, companies are increasingly chasing the largest supply of skilled, qualified workers.”  Read the entire article.

Small Business Minnesota 2015 Legislative Wrap Up

The state legislative sessions have ended for 2015. Time ran out for many bills and the regular session ended in a flurry of activity and angst. The governor vetoed three major bills and a one-day special session was called. The public including groups like Small Business Minnesota, the media and almost all legislators, were barred from participating in or observing the special session. In the end, a surprising number of provisions were added to bills that had not been vetted and previous agreements were altered or eliminated. Read small-business legislative wrap up. Health Insurance needs more attention In survey after survey most small businesses owners identify affordable healthcare as their top concern. We saw little movement on this issue this […]

Renewable energy grants available for Greater Minnesota small businesses

A new program administered through the USDA with assistance from the Minnesota Clean Energy Resource Teams helps small businesses in Greater Minnesota find and apply for grants to switch to less expensive, more earth-friendly renewable energy. Grants cover up to 25 percent of the installation costs and loans cover up to 75 percent of the cost. Applications for the first round of grants are due June 30. For more information, visit mncerts.org/GreatRenewables or call Fritz Ebinger at (612) 626-1028. Related article.

Legislators supporting predatory lending that target small businesses

Having tapped the individual market, predatory lenders are now targeting small businesses. Small business owners often have difficultly accessing capital. This makes them particularly vulnerable to predatory lenders. Minnesota has some of the weakest predatory lending regulations in the nation. In the past and current sessions, legislators in both the House and Senate are siding with powerful lobbyists instead of small businesses. Contact your House representative and your Senator and ask that they pass the predatory lender bill.

Property tax: Big win for big corporations, another loss for small businesses

We do not support more tax breaks for large corporations. Big corporations’ tax breaks and favors are abundant, while small businesses pick up the tab. Until the playing field is leveled for small businesses, tell legislators to leave big corporate property taxes at current levels and to keep or increase the small business property tax relief passed last session. (Small Business Minnesota testified in favor of the current small business tax relief; the state chamber testified against it because it didn’t favor big businesses.)  Write to House Speaker Kurt Daudt, Minority House leader Rep. Paul Thissen, and Senate leaders Tom Bakk and David Hann. Contact all House and Senate tax committee members.