Health care is deeply important to people across the country. This is no less true for the millions of small business owners who now count on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for themselves, their families, and their employees. And, with insurance markets advantaging big employers over small business, ensuring quality, affordable health care for all is a crucial part of leveling the playing field between large corporations and Main Street.Read more
NEW REPORT: Nearly half of Minnesotans struggle to afford health care, 79% are worried about costs
Small business owners call for the MinnesotaCare Buy-In
ST. PAUL, MN — It’s no secret that health care is a top concern for Minnesotans. Nearly half of Minnesotans (47%) have faced hardships due to the high cost of health care. A new report by the Healthcare Value Hub reveals how severely health care costs are affecting Minnesotans across the state. Minnesotans report going uninsured due to costs, delaying or foregoing care, and being unable to pay medical bills. The vast majority adults in the state (79%) are worried about affording health care in the future.Read more
Michigan Small Business Alliance Releases Report Highlighting New Earned Paid Sick Time Law’s Implications for Small Business
DETROIT, MI— The Michigan Small Business Alliance held a press call today with State Representative Stephanie Chang to discuss the new earned paid sick time legislation and what small business owners can expect from its implementation.
The Alliance also released a new report today that serves as a guide for small business owners to implement the new law and draw on lessons from other localities that have similar laws. The report highlights the necessity for earned sick time, citing that employees’ access to earned sick time improves overall health and productivity in the workplace, increases employee retention and reduces healthcare costs.Read more
New report examines impact of Earned Sick & Safe ordinances nationwide
On Tuesday, January 12th, The Main Street Alliance of Minnesota hosted a conference call with members of the media to discuss a new report examining the economic impact of earned sick day policies in cities nationwide.
Minneapolis businesses joined business owners in Jersey City, NJ and Portland, OR, who shared their experiences implementing sick days, and discussed the impact of local ordinances on the economy.
The report uses data from a recent analysis from the National Partnership for Women and Families analyzing the costs and benefits of earned sick day ordinances to businesses and economy in five cities and one state.
Minneapolis small business owners discussed their perspectives about the proposal for earned sick and safe time currently being considered and studied by 19 member Workplace Partnership Group organized by the city.
Speakers on the call included:
Vicki Shabo, National Partnership for Women and Families
Tony Sandkamp, owner of Sandkamp Woodworks, Jersey City, NJ
Shaun Sieren, owner of Biddy McGraw's, Portland, OR
Dan Ogiba, owner of Toppers Pizza, multiple locations
Dan Stenton-Klatt, owner of Butter Bakery Cafe, Minneapolis, MN
Julie Kearns, owner of Junket: Tossed & Found, Minneapolis MN
A copy of the report can be viewed and downloaded here
1163 business owners were surveyed through one on one interviews in nine states. This diverse group of businesses was surveyed in both rural and urban settings on issues including; Tax Fairness, Paid Sick Days, Paid Family Leave, Minimum Wage, and Economic Development Incentives. Business sizes vary from 1 to 100+ employees, with the majority below 25 employees.
THE ECONOMY & TAXES
- Increasing consumer demand is what is needed most to create more jobs and get the economy back on track. Most small business owners report that more customers will help them to create more jobs, not having lower taxes or fewer regulations.
- Big corporations should pay more taxes. They strongly support closing corporate tax loopholes. The majority of respondents said big corporations are paying less than their fair share of taxes. A strong majority responded that corporate tax loopholes are hurting their businesses and see closing corporate tax loopholes as a necessary revenue-raising opportunity, to be prioritized before making further budget cuts.
- Economic development incentives aren’t working for small businesses. Most small business owners surveyed responded either that economic development incentives are giveaways to big business or that they had little to no knowledge or experience with them, with a vast majority never having accessed any.
"It is extremely difficult to compete with large corporations and their ability to dodge their tax responsibility is a huge reason for that."
Maurice Rahming, O'Neill Electic, Portland, OR
JOB QUALITY & WORKPLACE ISSUES
- Paid family leave. While a majority don’t currently offer paid family leave, most small business owners surveyed support a national paid family and medical leave program.
- Earned paid sick days. While just over half don’t currently offer earned paid sick days to their employees, a majority of small business owners surveyed support a national earned paid sick days policy, like the Healthy Families Act.
- Raising the minimum wage. An overwhelming majority believe that anyone working full-time deserves to be out of poverty.
"We support a plan for workers that provides at least a minimum standard of paid time off so that everyone can balance work, family, and their health."
Randy George, Red Hen Baking Co., Middlesex, VT
Read the report here: Paid Sick Time in Oregon, March 2015
On Monday December 15th, Main Street Alliance of Vermont held a press conference and reception to announce their 2015 legislative platform and to release a report of survey findings from a statewide small business survey conducted this past summer and fall.
Dozens of Main Street Alliance coalition members and several legislators were present at the event. Speakers included former Governor Madeline Kunin; Trudy Trombley, MSA member and owner of Truly Trudy's Cosmetics in Stowe and The Boutique at Stowe Mercantile; Stephanie Hainley, MSA member and COO of White and Burke Real Estate Investment Advisors; Representative Jill Krowsinki and Senator Philip Baruth, lead sponsors of this year's Earned Leave bill; Peter Sterling, Director of Vermont Leads, and Andrew Savage, Chief Strategy Office at All Earth Renewables.
Trombley and Hainley reported key findings from the survey, highlighting that out of all businesses surveyed, 49% support establishing a minimum standard of earned leave and just under 60% support moving forward with a universal, publicly financed healthcare system in Vermont.
See the links below for media coverage from the event:
VT Digger (Article) My Champlain Valley (Article & Video) Times Argus (Article) WPTZ (Article & Video)