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  Saturday October 25th, 2014    

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Is Minnesota still business friendly? (02/26/2014)
By
From: Dennis Meyer

I am concerned as a small business owner in Southeastern Minnesota that the Minnesota Legislature and the Governor are out of touch with small business. The business-to-business taxes enacted in 2013 are raising costs and not providing added value to the goods and services small business produces. I call on the Legislature and the Governor to repeal these taxes immediately at the start of the 2014 legislative session.

Small business needs a world-class, skilled workforce to compete in this global market; education at all levels plays an important role in providing those workers. Students need to be better prepared and closer aligned to industry needs, and we must improve the performance of the P-12 education system to raise student achievement.

Many new processes and technologies are started by very small businesses, but the regulations that a new business or existing business needs to get that next big idea off the ground gets delayed by obstacles outside of businesses’ control. Remove unnecessary and duplicate state and federal regulations and provide time frames, specific costs and budgets for permits and the review of documents.

The wages paid to workers with minimum skills, minimum experience, minimum work ethics should be minimum wage. Many minimum-wage jobs are held by individuals not supporting a household and the notion that raising the minimum wage will help those families living in poverty is very small. A better approach would be to provide incentives to businesses to employ these minimum-skilled workers with programs to provide the education and training needed to earn higher wages. My small business already competes with other employers in the area for the skilled labor we need; raising the minimum wage will not change what the local market dictates I pay as a starting wage. Conformity to the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 makes sense to keep Minnesota better aligned with other states. Another repercussion to raising the minimum wage is the impact on those currently making more than the minimum wage, as the minimum wage becomes closer to the wage of currently employed workers they will expect a raise to their wages also; this could snowball into huge increases in labor costs without adding any value to the goods and services small business produces. Any additional costs added to a business that does improve the product only makes the product or service more expensive and improves the opportunity for competitors outside the U.S. to provide those products and services. 

 

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