FOR RELEASE: DAYS AHEAD OF AMAZON DECISION, MN SMALL BUSINESSES ISSUE RFP TO SUPPORT SMALL BUSINESS & COMMUNITY
Minneapolis - Just days before the deadline for states to issue their Request for Proposals (RFP) around what tax breaks they would give Amazon in order to have the corporation move their 2nd HQ to their state, small business owners issued a Small Business Request for Proposals to Minnesota lawmakers.
Small businesses stressed why investment in our local communities, not tax giveaways for wealthy corporations, is the way to grow the economy. At a gathering at Moon Palace Books in Minneapolis, small business owners described the types of policies that would help small business thrive in Minnesota.
“We are small businesses who care about our families, our employees, their families, and the vitality of life in our communities. That’s why we pay into a tax base that helps create the kind of city and state we want to live in - with quality public schools, affordable childcare, and communities that can support us.” Angela Schwesnedl, owner of Moon Palace Books. “We believe giving tax breaks to Amazon and other big corporations does not help create the kind of economy that helps our small business thrive.”
“We want to see the same level of energy, or more energy that goes into responding to a RFP that Amazon puts out, to go to help small business owners like us across the state, who are creating jobs, know their neighbors, and who are vital part of our communities. We put together an RFP that would help make our businesses stronger and communities stronger.” Danny Schwartzman, owner of Common Roots Cafe. “It's about access to affordable healthcare. It's about support for childcare so its easier for our employees and customers to go to work and make ends meet.”
“One of the things small businesses face is difficulty in access to capital” Julie Kearns, Junket: Tossed and Found. “Our government can help us by communicating proactively about the programs that are out there to support us. We’d like to create jobs and keep the wealth local.”
“We weren’t looking for a handout [to start our business], we were looking for a spark. That’s what we request from our leaders in this state—a spark to start businesses that wouldn’t grow to become prosperous, job-creating, community building organizations without it.” said Jack Dickinson, Owner of Sand Creek Post & Beam .
“Not only are we asking for pointed investments to help start businesses, but we are looking for our state and local governments to invest in our communities through public education. It’s very important to me that my daughters go into an education system that’s very high quality. And we believe everybody, in every neighborhood, deserves access to quality public schools.”
“I want to live in a world where I can say to my kids ‘Yeah, I would advise you to open your own store’. Right now, I’m not sure I can do that. While Amazon and other huge companies like it have received hundreds of millions of dollars in tax subsidies, small business owners like us wake up every morning wondering if we’re going to have health insurance in a few months,” said Dan Marshall, owner of Mischief Toy Store.
“We rely on programs like MinnesotaCare and the insurance exchanges brought on by Obamacare, and every day they’re trying to eliminate those programs,” Marshall continued. “It’s time for communities and states like Minnesota to step up and make it possible for small business owners to get health insurance like the big businesses have, and stop handing out money to giant corporations like Amazon.”