FTC’s Proposed Rule that would Ban Non-Compete Agreements

Blog written by Blethen Berens, a Greater Mankato Growth Bronze Investor

On January 5, 2023, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced a proposed rule that would invalidate almost all non-compete agreements or clauses used by employers as well as any other restrictive agreements that “function” as non-compete agreements. The proposed rule would prohibit any contractual term between an “employer” and “worker” that prevents the worker from seeking or accepting employment with a person or operating a business, after the conclusion of the worker’s employment with the employer. This proposed rule would supersede all state law on the subject. The FTC does not have authority over banks, federal credit unions, air carriers, common carriers, meatpackers, and poultry dealers. Those industries are exempt from the proposed rule, but almost all other hired relationships will be covered.

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2023 Policy Priorities

The 2023 legislative session starts today, January 3, 2023. Greater Mankato Growth will be working vigorously to ensure the voice of our members is heard loud and clear in St. Paul. We will also keep members up to date on key issues and provide information you will need to be an advocate for your business. Be on the lookout for additional blog posts in the coming weeks and months as the session gets underway.

Greater Mankato Growth’s Board of Directors have approved a set of policy priorities. These priorities are the result of a lengthy process that included several opportunities for input: a membership survey, the Advocacy Committee, and hundreds of conversations with members. The priorities are comprised of many of the most important issues that affect our members.

Greater Mankato Growth will focus our advocacy efforts in these areas:

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Top 10 Considerations for Successful Year-End Planning

Blog written by Eide Bailly, a Greater Mankato Growth Bronze Investor

At its most basic, year-end comes down to reporting, preparation, and planning for the year ahead. Yet, year-end is about so much more than just your financial statements. Successful year-end planning can give you the opportunity to look closely at where you’ve been and focus on where you want to go.

By taking a more proactive and strategic approach to year-end, you can simplify the process and maximize financial efficiency. Here are our top 10 considerations (and helpful resources) to help you get started.

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2022 Local Election Recap

Elections don’t only impact capitol cities, they also impact every local board, council, and commission in our communities. This year was no different. There will be changes in leadership in a number of important local offices, including a new Mayor of North Mankato. These local leaders touch our lives every day as they manage critical infrastructure, teach our kids, and keep our communities safe.

Below is a breakdown of the results of local races.

City of North Mankato

Mayor

Scott Carlson – 50.65% (3,065)

Ben Kaus – 37.21% (2,245)

Kenneth J. DeWitte – 7.87% (475)

Warren Lee Anderson – 3.83% (231)

Mayor-Elect Scott Carlson replaces Mayor Mark Dehen who has served since 2011.

City of Mankato

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2022 Legislature Election Recap

The results of the election in Minnesota were not what was widely expected. The conventional wisdom suggested Republicans would have a big night. In a midterm election with a lackluster Presidential approval rating, rising inflation, and prolonged economic uncertainty, it would seem that history would once again repeat itself. That didn’t happen. Instead, Democrats (DFL) carried voters focused on issues such as reproductive rights, election integrity/democracy, and public safety, especially in and around the Twin Cities suburbs. The graphic below shows this exactly (Graphic 1).

Polls showed a very tight race for Governor and Republican candidates for other statewide offices leading slightly. In the end, Governor Walz won by more than eight points, enough to “carry” the other statewide offices to victory for a clean Democratic sweep of all constitutional offices – Governor/Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, and State Auditor.

Graphic 1: DFL candidates continue to increase their share of the suburbs while also driving up votes in Hennepin County that has outpaced Republican gains in greater Minnesota.

But that’s not all.

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Why Top Performing Organizations Are Creating a Culture of Security

Blog written by Eide Bailly, a Greater Mankato Growth Bronze Investor

In today’s business environment, understanding your current security risks just makes sense. After all, studies have found that U.S. organizations face the highest costs when a data breach occurs, topping out at at $8.64 million per breach.

A proactive stance on cybersecurity risk can equate to major savings for organizations. A collaborative approach between security and networking has been shown to significantly lower the cost of a breach. In fact, organizations who formed incident response teams and tested their incident response plans were able to reduce the cost of a data breach by almost 40%.

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Approaches to Handling Cyber Incidents

Blog written by Corporate Technologies LLC, a Greater Mankato Growth member

Balancing a Proactive and Reactive Approach to Cyber Incidents

A cyber incident is a type of security event that can harm a business like yours. Ranging from data breaches and system failures to malware attacks and phishing scams, these incidents can hinder productivity, revenue growth, and customer satisfaction.

In most cases, a cyber incident will result in data loss or downtime. This can include loss of
confidential information, customer data, or business records. In some cases, a cyber incident can also cause business interruption or financial loss.

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The Surprising Way You Can Retain Talent During the Great Resignation: Business Process Automation

Blog written by Eide Bailly, a Greater Mankato Growth Bronze Investor

From flexible schedules to compensation and benefit packages, the Great Resignation has forced organizations to rethink the way they foster employee satisfaction and maximize staff. One of the simplest answers to talent retention is making sure your employees are satisfied with their jobs. Are they able to focus on higher-value tasks or are they spending hours (or even days) on repetitive or complicated manual processes?

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2022 Legislative Session Recap: What could have been

The 2022 legislative session could be characterized in one word: disappointing. There was so much opportunity to do good work and help Minnesotans. Very little of that opportunity was seized. This may not be entirely surprising, given Minnesota is one of only two states with divided control of the legislature (Republicans have the majority in the Senate, and the Democrats have the majority in the House). But Minnesota has a tradition of compromise and it is also something that is structurally required by our state’s constitution: the state must pass a balanced budget every two years, bonding bills (borrowing money) requires a super majority of both the House and the Senate, and, of course, all legislation must be signed by the Governor. There have been hiccups along the way, but Minnesotans expect elected officials to work together and get their work done, even if a little late.

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April 2022 Employment Figures – Unemployment Hits All-Time Low

According to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) there were fewer unemployed job seekers in April 2022 than in any other month since data became available in January 1990. With only 766 unemployed, this was the first time that unemployment in Greater Mankato dropped below 1000 since November 1999 when unemployment was at 924. Due to a smaller labor force in 1999, that reflected an unemployment rate of 2.5% while the April 2022 unemployment rate fell to an all-time low of 1.3%.

Since January, the region has added 1,600 jobs and increased employment by 1,060. Between March and April, 600 jobs were added and employment increased by 268. This is shrinking the gap that exists from employment, where numbers have returned to pre-pandemic levels and jobs, where numbers have lagged behind. This shrinking gap could be caused by more people from outside the region taking jobs locally, individuals working remotely for a company outside of our region deciding to work for a local business, and individuals deciding to work multiple jobs.

Note that the difference between these two statistics is that jobs record the number of paychecks being issued by companies in Blue Earth & Nicollet County regardless of where employees live. Employment records the number of people living in Blue Earth & Nicollet County who work, regardless of where they work. A deeper explanation of this difference can be found at the end of the January employment figure report.

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