Minnesota Small Business Day 2023: Small Business Owners Voice Concerns With Paid Leave Mandate

Date: March 13, 2023

Minnesota Legislators Listen to Small Business Stories

NFIB’s Annual Small Business Day was a successful event on March 1. Nearly two dozen small business owners gathered at the Minnesota State Capitol to share their stories and concerns about the slew of small business mandates – including the proposed 24-week, $1 Billion Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) program – advancing at the Minnesota Legislature right now.

Guest speakers included Senate Minority Leader Mark Johnson (R-East Grand Forks) and Assistant Senate Majority Leader Nick Frentz (DFL-North Mankato).

“We’ve seen the governor’s budget. He says it’s the biggest tax cuts ever proposed in Minnesota but what he forgets to say is that it’s also some of the biggest tax increases in the budget as well,” said Senator Johnson. “We’ve got a number of things in the state that are really disappointing and a real rain cloud on the horizon. I don’t want to be gloomy but I know these are dark times but the reality is that this will change, What the Democrats are doing to families and small business are going to be so detrimental that we are not going to recognize Minnesota in four year.”

Senator Nick Frentz, who supports a state created PFML program, spoke with and took questions from small business owners. NFIB members told him that they treat their employees with respect and work with them when they need time off. Brett Haugen of Stamp-n-Storage in Hutchinson said if the 6-month paid leave mandate passes, he won’t be in business for very much longer.

Minnesota small business owners were passionate about making their voices heard at this year’s Small Business Day at the Capitol. State Director John Reynolds and Sen. Nick Frentz talk about how the 24 week paid leave mandate will impact entrepreneurs and their employees.

Frentz underscored the importance of hearing from small business owners and expressed hope that lawmakers could find a solution that would not be onerous for Main Street.

The PFML proposal is funded by a $1 billion payroll tax on small businesses and workers and requires businesses of all sizes to allow up to 24 weeks of paid leave per year. Earlier this year, NFIB launched its statewide issue campaign to Stop St. Paul’s Billion Dollar Tax Hike on Small Businesses. You can find out more about the proposal here.

Leadership Council member David Heinrich of Thermal Dynamics based out of Maple Plain. His small business is a water systems company that designs geothermal technology. Heinrich to members of the media about his concerns with the proposed legislation. Heinrich questions why politicians are pushing another burden on the backs of small business owners when Minnesota has a $17.6 billion surplus.

“No small business can go without their skilled employees for six months. We need to shorten the horizon of this program and minimize the costs, particularly the immediate costs it would place on both employers and employees alike,” said Henrich.

NFIB members have made their voices clear: they are 100% against this new tax and mandate. Minnesota already has a chronic worker shortage. According to NFIB data, 41% of small business owners have long-term job vacancies they cannot fill and 92% have few or no qualified applicants.

NFIB is also running statewide radio ad campaign to educate Minnesotans about this harmful proposal. You can listen to the radio ad here.

Minnesota has a $17.6 billion surplus, so why are politicians pushing another burden on the shoulders of small business and workers? The new $1 billion payroll tax will make life even hard on Main Street: the average small business with 10 employees will face a $3,000 per year tax hike – and that’s just to start.

Here’s what you need to know about this scheme:

  • $1 Billion Payroll Tax on small businesses, family farms and more.
  • As the cost of the new government-run program grows, so will the payroll tax! Another state’s paycheck tax doubled in just three years.
  • Mandates that small businesses allow all employees to take almost 6 months off per year for a wide range of circumstances.
  • Sets up a massive new bureaucracy with 300-400 government employees and a $50 million annual budget.
  • Upends the salary and benefit arrangement for every small business employee, making it harder for them to offer customized compensation plans to attract new employees.

Related Content: Small Business News | Minnesota

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