If you drive through Northfield, New Prague, Le Center, Le Sueur, Belle Plaine, Elko-New Market or any of the other small towns that make up Senate District 20, you’ll quickly see what makes up the economic heartbeat of Minnesota. Small business owners. Whether a manufacturing or hi-tech business with 50 employees; a 10 employee accounting services business or a one or two person “mom and pop” hardware store or boutique, these entrepreneurs are truly the engines that keep our small towns vibrant. These small business women and men provide good jobs, pay taxes, sponsor our sports teams and summer festivals and give back to the community in countless ways. And when these businesses are successful, they hire more employees, pay more taxes and give back even more to our communities. Some of them become even bigger. Malt-O-Meal, with roots in Northfield that go back to 1927, and which has now become the third largest cereal producer in the United States, is one such example. That’s why it’s disappointing to see my opponent and his powerful special interest backers attack business at nearly every turn. Rather than have a productive discussion about what we can do to create a climate in which the next Malt-O-Meal can start and grow right here in our community, they attack business as corporate bad guys. My plan is different. It begins with my belief that “profit” isn’t a dirty word. I’ll work to create a small business environment that encourages small business to grow. This means tax reform, reasonable workers’ compensation rates and unemployment insurance taxes, and a regulatory climate that isn’t burdensome and expensive. A healthy and strong business climate means vibrant main streets, good jobs and livable communities As a small business owner myself, I know that state imposed costs can make it difficult to earn a profit, expand, hire new employees and give back to the community. I’ll bring that perspective to the legislature, a perspective we could use more of in St. Paul and will work hard to be a strong voice for the women and men who took the risks to become successful small business owners.
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