On Monday, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz falsely claimed that Minnesota entrepreneurs “fared among the best in the country” after his shutdowns forced businesses to close.
The governor apparently based this claim on one article from the Star Tribune which reports that venture capitalists invested a record-breaking $1.9 billion in Minnesota last year. However, this represents only 1.5% of the venture capital (VC) invested across the U.S. in 2020, the same article reports.
Further, the governor is incorrect in saying that Minnesota businesses “fared” uniquely well. According to the article, Minnesota was only ranked 12th amongst VC recipients. This is not an extraordinarily good rating, as the top 10 states drew 89% of VC funding.
Amid a challenging year, Minnesota’s entrepreneurs fared among the best in the country. Good to see increasing business investment in Minnesota!https://t.co/nmizlGs0X5
— Governor Tim Walz (@GovTimWalz) February 1, 2021
Meanwhile, as a few firms received a relatively small share of VC last year, average entrepreneurs were unable to sustain themselves under Walz’s sprawling shutdown orders.
The governor kept commerce in various stages of shutdown or restriction from March 17, 2020 through the present, starting with Emergency Executive Order 20-04. Since March, Walz has issued 108 other orders, most of which pertain to management of the coronavirus pandemic.
One result of this executive action: a decrease in jobs.
Minnesota saw a 750% increase in jobless claims under Walz’s management of the virus as small businesses found themselves unable to afford their payrolls. The effects of this massive unemployment spike can be seen as Minnesotans fall behind on their most essential bills and expenses. Minnesota Power reports that twice as many customers have failed to pay their bills compared to a year ago.
Walz plans to correct the damage that has been done to the economy by raising income taxes, according to KSTP.
South Dakota, on the other hand, has taken a more conservative approach to economic management during the pandemic. Gov. Kristi Noem enacted relatively few COVID-related business restrictions, which seems to have helped South Dakota’s business environment.
Alpha News reached out to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) for comment, but the department was unavailable.