At the heart of Minnesota’s prosperity are strong communities with thriving local businesses, a vibrant workforce, and smart public investments where communities support the local businesses and the local businesses support the communities. A 21st century development strategy requires looking to tactics that support the workforce, a strong culture of entrepreneurship and the growth of small, local businesses.
Main Street Alliance of Minnesota’s 2020 State Policy Platform focuses on strategies that target support for small businesses and their employees in acknowledgment of the interdependent relationship between a community’s economic and environmental health and the success of the small businesses that bring their cities, towns, and communities together. In addition, many of these strategies are equalizers that will enable smaller “main street” businesses to better compete with larger businesses.
Core Areas of Work
- Health Care
- Quality Jobs
- Economic Development focused on Small Businesses
- Boosting Investments in Child Care
Current Minnesota Campaigns
MinnesotaCare Expansion: The high cost of health care is creating an increasing strain on businesses, families, and our state budget. We need to strengthen and improve the Affordable Care Act for individuals and small businesses.
Main Street Alliance Minnesota supports legislation to allow individuals and small businesses to buy into MinnesotaCare as an additional, public health insurance option for employees. We support legislation that expands the income limit for MinnesotaCare in stages, and eliminates the program income limit by 2026.
Paid Family and Medical Leave: Main Street Alliance Minnesota supports the establishment of a publicly-administered, family and medical leave insurance program. A statewide insurance program will level the playing field for small businesses and make Minnesota more affordable for and attractive to young professionals and working families.
- Click here to learn more and support the MN Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance (HF5)
- Join Small businesses for Paid Leave to sign on to the federal legislation, the Family Act
Earned Sick and Safe Time: Main Street Alliance Minnesota members supported common sense, practical earned sick and safe time ordinances in Minneapolis, St Paul and Duluth. MSA-MN recommends statewide legislation to ensure all Minnesotans have access to a basic level of accrued sick and safe time. The law should create a baseline standard that applies to all businesses and creates a level playing field for businesses who already provide comprehensive leave packages.
- Read our 2016 report: "The Bottom Line on Earned Sick Time"
- Support the federal legislation and join the Federal Healthy Families Act Campaign
Economic Development Focused on Small Businesses
Investment in Main Street Businesses: Main Street Alliance Minnesota members support robust city and state level investments in economic development focused on small businesses. We must work to eliminate the deep racial inequities in business ownership in Minnesota. Main Street Alliance Members in Minneapolis advocated for the creation of a small business team in 2016, and continue to work to improve the city’s outreach, resources, economic tools and loan programs. To see our economic development agenda in Minneapolis, see here.
Boosting Investments in Childcare
Childcare: Main Street Alliance Minnesota recognizes an important relationship between a stable, supported workforce and accessible, affordable, high quality child care. Child care is a cornerstone of ensuring a healthy economy. Investments should be increased in affordable childcare options and flexible funding streams.
An inability to access affordable child care is one of the biggest factors keeping parents out of the workforce. Unemployment is at a historic low and the need for a trained, committed workforce is at a premium. This shortage of workers constraints our state’s economic growth.
Main Street Alliance recommends fully funding the childcare care assistance program (C-CAP) in order to eliminate the waiting list for childcare assistance. In addition, we recommend increasing child care assistance reimbursement rates to keep providers in business, and help address the child care shortage.
- Sign on to support funding for the childcare care assistance program (C-CAP)