This month, Governing Magazine (one of the most credible sources of nonpartisan news and policy analysis covering state and local governments) reported the results of a new survey conducted by Thumbtack.com and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation ranking the Most (and Least) Small Business-Friendly States in the country.
According to the survey, Minnesota ranked 11th in the nation for overall business friendliness, confirming our state remains one of the best places in the United States to start, own, and expand a small business.
According to Governing Magazine:
“When it comes to how business-friendly an area is, smaller companies care about much more than just taxes...Training and networking programs were found to be the best predictor of overall scores, followed by a state’s economy and licensing requirements.
“In fact, the majority of businesses surveyed didn’t think their taxes were unfairly high. The larger the business, though, the more negatively it perceived its taxes.
“When a small business owner decides where to set up shop, they’re most likely to choose where they already reside. For this reason, taxes typically aren’t their chief concern initially, said Katie McConnell, a senior associate with the National League of Cities’ Center for Research and Innovation.”
Neighboring Wisconsin ranked 17th for overall business friendliness, and Iowa ranked 21st. In addition to being ranked the 11th best state to own a small business, Minnesota received an A- grade for overall business friendliness, which was a marked improvement from the B grade Minnesota received in 2012.
You can read more about the survey, and how Minnesota’s small business environment compares to other states, on the Governing.com website.
Minnesotans need a strong economy we can depend on for good jobs, living wages, and a strong middle class. That is why Governor Dayton’s budget invests in measures to create jobs, strengthen our infrastructure, and make Minnesota a more competitive place to do business. These investments will yield new jobs, vibrant communities, and additional state and local tax revenues that will far exceed these initial investments.
Investing an Additional $86.5 million in Economic Development
Creating thousands of jobs by leveraging $1.475 billion in private investment.
Saint Paul – This morning, Governor Dayton released his bonding proposal which would put 21,000 Minnesotans back to work on critical projects to improve Minnesota’s infrastructure. Leaders representing working families from around the state welcomed the Governor’s proposal and lauded him for his commitment to creating good jobs in Minnesota.
“Governor Dayton recognizes that despite strong job growth over the last year, we cannot simply rest on our laurels and hope that growth continues. Governor Dayton’s jobs and infrastructure bill is a proactive plan that will create 21,000 new private sector jobs. This is especially good news for workers in the building and construction trades, a sector that has not experienced the same post-recession rebound that other industries have. Minnesota will only maintain our economic leadership if we make investments in our future. Governor Dayton recognizes that improving our aging infrastructure is part of that future. We are confident that Legislators also recognize the need to create jobs and improve our infrastructure and will send a bill to the Governor’s desk this session.”
- Minnesota AFL-CIO President Shar Knutson
“I applaud Governor Dayton for proposing investments in Minnesota’s infrastructure. This proposal will put construction workers to work in every corner of Minnesota repairing, rebuilding, and expanding public structures and facilities that will benefit us all.”
- John Raines, Executive Secretary-Treasurer, North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters
“With today’s announcement, Governor Dayton demonstrated his continued commitment to creating good jobs here in Minnesota. Investments in our infrastructure will put thousands of Minnesotans back to work on projects that will position our state for success in the future.”
- Harry Melander, President, Saint Paul Building & Construction Trades Council
Today, Governor Mark Dayton introduced a bonding proposal that would invest $750 million in infrastructure projects statewide, creating an estimated 21,000 Minnesota jobs. The plan – which builds on the Governor’s proposed budget measures to get Minnesotans back to work – would address many of the state’s needed infrastructure improvements and strengthen Minnesota’s economy.
A Fair and Responsible Budget that Invests in the Middle Class
Today, Governor Dayton released a revised budget plan today that responsibly resolves the state’s budget deficit and makes crucial investments in Minnesota’s future. The Governor’s proposal focuses on improving the lives of Minnesotans by making major investments in education, job creation, and a stronger middle class.
First, Governor Dayton’s budget makes $640 million of long-overdue investments in education. The Governor’s budget would provide access to high-quality early education for 10,000 young children, fund all-day Kindergarten for 46,000 kids, and increase school funding for every district in the state. His budget would also deliver the largest increase in direct student aid in 25 years, along with needed investments in the MnSCU system and the University of Minnesota to train our workforce for the jobs of the future.
The Governor’s budget also makes needed investments in job creation. Minnesotans need a strong economy we can depend on for good jobs, living wages, and a strong middle class. That is why Governor Dayton’s budget invests $86.5 million in proven economic development initiatives that will create thousands of jobs and leverage nearly $1.5 billion in additional private investment in Minnesota’s economy.
Governor Dayton’s budget plan would also provide property tax relief to Minnesota families and businesses. His budget would increase funding for the renter’s credit, fully-fund the homeowner’s property tax refund program, and increase aid to local governments by $120 million.
These new investments are made possible by asking the wealthiest 2 percent of Minnesotans to pay their fair share in taxes and closing unfair corporate tax loopholes enjoyed by just a handful of corporations.
According to the Department of Revenue’s most recent tax incidence study, most low- and middle-income earners in Minnesota pay about 20 percent more as a share of their income in state and local taxes than the wealthiest Minnesotans. In order to address that disparity, honestly resolve our state’s budget deficit, and make long overdue investments in education and job creation, the governor’s budget asks the wealthiest 2 percent of Minnesotans to pay their fair share of income taxes.
Finally, the governor’s budget delivers on his commitment to a Better Government for a Better Minnesota – ensuring Minnesotans get better public services for a better price. His budget delivers $5.1 billion in cost savings and reductions over four years through reform and responsible fiscal management.
For more information about Governor Dayton’s Budget for a Better Minnesota, visit http://mn.gov/governor/budget and follow the conversation on Twitter at #BetterMN.
In 2012, Gerdau Long Steel broke ground on a renovation project at its St. Paul plant. The renovation, made possible in part by a $249,000 MIF loan, will create a state-of-the-art facility for casting steel. This project helped create 40 new jobs.
The Minnesota Investment Fund (MIF) helps Minnesota compete with other states and nations for new high-tech and manufacturing jobs. MIF helps encourage local firms that have options outside the state to expand here, and provides incentives for firms outside Minnesota to locate in our state. Over the last 8 years alone, the program has funded 53 projects, creating thousands of jobs and leveraging $587 million in private economic development.
Governor Dayton has proposed investing $30 million in MIF to enhance Minnesota’s competitiveness, create thousands of new jobs, and leverage an estimated $990 million in private investment in Minnesota’s economy.
Polaris Industries in Wyoming, MN
MIF Loan: $400,000 Est. New Jobs: 115-350
Polaris Industries, the Medina-based maker of all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles, and motorcycles, broke ground in September 2012 on a 144,000 square foot expansion project at its research and development facility in Wyoming, Minnesota. The project, made possible in part by a $400,000 MIF loan, will double the size of the facility and create capacity for up to 350 more jobs. Polaris has committed to creating 115 permanent jobs within two years.
Gerdau Long Steel in St. Paul, MN
MIF Loan: $249,000 Est. New Jobs: 40
In 2012, Gerdau Long Steel broke ground on a renovation project at its St. Paul plant. The renovation, made possible in part
by a $249,000 MIF loan, will create a state-of-the-art facility for casting steel. This project helped create 40 new jobs.
One of the projects overseen by the MPCA was the construction of the Maplewood Mall stormwater system, which will contribute to the improvement in Kohlmann Lake’s water quality by preventing 50 pounds of phosphorus and five tons of sediment per year from entering the lake.
Some of the most innovative engineering projects undertaken in Minnesota in 2012 were set into motion as a result of environmental initiatives undertaken by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.
The American Council of Engineering Companies of Minnesota (ACEC/MN) recently announced the winners of its 2013 Engineering Excellence awards. Several of the 29 award-winning projects were set into motion as a result of environmental initiatives undertaken by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.
The projects represent some of the most innovative engineering work undertaken in Minnesota in 2012. Some were directly funded or overseen by MPCA; others were initiated in response to the agency’s environmental work. Three of these environmental projects will compete for recognition at the national level.
One of the award-winning projects converted an Edina parking garage into a new drinking water treatment plant. When it was discovered that the city’s groundwater was contaminated with vinyl chloride, a new treatment system was needed to protect the quality of the water supply.
The MPCA provided financial support for the project’s design, while the city funded construction and ongoing operation of the facility. The unique project, designed by the engineering firm AECOM, allowed the city to reuse an existing structure. This eliminated the need to use valuable green space for infrastructure improvements.
Another project recognized by ACEC/MN was an innovative stormwater management system at Maplewood Mall. The system, designed by Barr Engineering, will capture and treat 90% of the stormwater runoff at the site. It incorporates rain gardens, permeable pavement crosswalks, a cistern that captures roof runoff for irrigation, and some 200 trees.
Greater Minnesota faces housing shortages, a major problem when trying to attract and retain workers and their families near employment opportunities. That’s why The Governor’s Housing and Job Growth budget initiative will provide $10 million through the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency’s (MHFA) Economic Development and Housing Challenge initiative to help communities and employers address this issue.
To learn more about the Minnesota Job Creation Fund and Governor Dayton’s plans to build a Better Minnesota, click here.