National Small Business Week Ends: Was Minnesota Celebrating?


Yesterday, May 7 marked the final day of National Small Business Week, a week dedicated to recognizing “the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners.” National Small Business Week has been celebrated since 1963, and continues to play a role in the national discourse because 1 in 2 Americans works for a small business, and small business create 2 of every 3 American jobs.

How are small businesses fairing in Minnesota? Last month, Alpha News reported that some findings suggest Dayton’s tax policies are hurting Minnesota businesses, citing research conducted by the Center of the American Experiment.

The state’s leading policy makers are fostering an “anti-success” climate that penalizes entrepreneurs for being financially successful, says Editor-in-Chief of Twin Cities Business, Dale Kurschner. Kurschner argues that the “anti-success” climate was generated via a penalizing tax system that directly distinctiveness success of the state’s largest earners. Minnesota currently is one of the most-taxed states in the union, with the 3rd highest income tax for top earners, 9.85%.  In addition, the top tax bracket was increased in size by 25% in the 2013 tax bill, as to ensure a larger number of wealthy people pay an increased amount in taxes. It is important to note many of these top earners are owners of small businesses, because to qualify as a top earner in Minnesota one’s household must make more than $206,011.

Businesses may soon face increased wages for their employees as well.  City council members in Minneapolis, the state’s largest city, are now fighting for a $15 minimum wage. Council member Alondra Cano told the Star Tribune that she is fighting for the initiative for the following reason: “We want to ensure we’re able to provide workers a better living wage to ensure we’re able to provide a better, more sustainable economic system for the people who live in our city.” Opponents to the measure argue this could shock the small business community, hurt “ma and pa shops” struggling to make ends meet, and harm workers whose labor doesn’t justify an organization spending $15 an hour to employ them.

The Minnesota House of Representatives has sought to aide small business in the current legislative session by passing an omnibus budget including $40 million for rural broadband access, and are considering tax relief options.

While Small Business Week ended yesterday, Minnesotans have a lot to think about as to how to most effectively foster a climate that encourages entrepreneurship, celebrates small business success, and embraces success.