Greater Mankato Growth Blog

Unemployment Insurance Tax Refund Headed Your Way

FromTheDomeAs a result of the state’s unemployment insurance system collecting more than it needs to remain solvent, a bill was signed into law this year that will provide payroll tax relief of $258 million in the unemployment insurance system. Most employers will receive a credit on their 2016 unemployment insurance premium totaling approximately 40 percent. Notices are being mailed from the Department of Employment and Economic Development and will be arriving soon. Read More

New Minnesota ADA Law: What Businesses Need to Know

FromTheDomeBusinesses in our area over the past two years have been targeted with abusive lawsuits alleging accessibility violations. To help businesses prevent these lawsuits, Greater Mankato Growth provided resources like self audits to promote compliance with the law. We also partnered with the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce to enact new legislation this session that will provide some new protections for businesses.

Thanks to Kevin Velasquez, an attorney with Blethen, Gage & Krause in Mankato, for authoring the following guest column providing details on the new law. You may also want to contact an attorney specializing in business law for further advice and counsel. You can find a list of our Greater Mankato law firms here. Read More

Legislature Adjourns: What Passed (and What Didn’t)

FromTheDomeThe Minnesota Legislature ended on a less-than-graceful note as major bills were negotiated and considered just moments before the constitutionally mandated adjournment time of midnight on May 22. The legislature adopted a tax bill and supplemental budget bill that are awaiting signature by Governor Dayton, but a last-minute amendment derailed a bonding/transportation bill. As a result, a potential special session is in the works to complete action on that outstanding bill. Below you’ll find a rundown on where key issues that will impact businesses and the Greater Mankato region stand following the legislative session.

To get the full report on the Legislative session, be sure to attend our 2016 Legislative Session Recap Breakfast Forum with our local legislators on June 1. You can get more information and register here. Read More

Minneapolis Fed Writes Article Featuring Greater Mankato

fedgazette-logoA few months ago, a representative from the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank visited Greater Mankato and met with several business and community leaders on the state of the community. The result is a great community profile that was just published in their fedgazette. The article, titled District Spotlight: Mankato finds its big-city legs highlights how we’ve emerged as a top regional center in the upper Midwest and is worth a read and share to your colleges. Thanks to those who met with the Federal Reserve Representative and to all of you for making our community great! Keep the momentum going!

District Spotlight: Mankato finds its big-city legs

Must Read: New Overtime Rules

DOL Seal.pngToday the U.S. Department of Labor will finalize changes to rules on overtime pay for exempt “white collar” salaried workers.

Currently, the salary threshold for overtime eligibility for exempt “white collar” salaried workers is $23,660 per year ($455/week). The new rule will require overtime pay for those employees who makes less than $47,476 per year ($913/week), meaning that the employee must be paid  time and a half for hours worked over 40 each week. The Department of Labor states this will cover 4.2 million more employees, totaling about 35% of salaried workers.

This means that any exempt “white collar” salaried employee earning less than the new threshold amount of $47,476 per year must be paid overtime for all hours over 40 in a week, effective December 1, 2016. Read More

Looking for Great Local Government Candidates

I-want-you-small-for-webLike it or not, for good or bad, local government has a big impact on businesses in Greater Mankato and indeed, our overall community. Luckily, we have a strong tradition of well-run, financially-strong, clean local governments that have been a great asset. But this didn’t come by accident. It took dedicated women and men willing to step up and bring their expertise and sound judgement to bear in service to the public. Always remember that it only takes one election to make a mess of the progress we’ve collectively worked so hard to earn in our community. To be clear, this isn’t a statement about those currently in office, rather an argument that our democracy works best when we are engaged and involved in our government. That’s why it is critical that citizens are able to choose from a strong slate of candidates for local office at this November’s election. Read More

Serve on Mankato’s Planning Commission

CityMkto_LeadingTheWayThe City of Mankato is seeking citizens to serve on the Planning Commission. This is an excellent opportunity for a member of our business community to get involved in the community. You can learn more about this position and how to apply by reviewing the press release from the city below. Feel free to contact Patrick Baker at GMG with any questions. Read More

Bus Service from Mankato to Twin Cities

MnDOT-logo18-620x320The Minnesota Department of Transportation is currently studying the viability of launching intercity bus service between Greater Mankato and Minneapolis/St. Paul. To help determine the level of usage and type of users of this service, MnDOT is asking residents to participate in a brief survey. Check out the full release from MnDOT below and participate in the survey. Read More

Public Affairs Summer Forums Announced

We’re excited to announce our lineup of summer events for Greater Mankato Growth’s Public Affairs Forum Series. The Forum Series is a set of 8-10 events per year that bring together compelling speakers and business leaders to discuss timely and relevant political and policy issues.

The series is open to the public. Our summer lineup is below. You can register and learn more at our Forum Series webpage: greatermankato.com/public-affairs-forum-series Read More

Statewide Business Property Tax Key Issue at Legislature

FromTheDomeWith only five weeks left in the Legislative Session, tax issues are heating up. One of the key tax issues for business this year, and the top priority for the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, is to reduce the impact of the statewide business property tax.

Greater Mankato Growth strives to keep our businesses up-to-speed on key issues at the Legislature so that they can weigh-in and be their own best advocate on issues that are of interest to them. The statewide business property tax impacts every commercial and industrial property in the state, so you’ll want to check out the information below. Be sure to make your voice heard with our regional legislators with your thoughts on this issue. Read More

Legislature Considering New Paid Leave Mandate

FromTheDomeThe Minnesota Legislature is currently considering a new statewide requirement which would impose a payroll tax on employers and employees in Minnesota to fund a new paid leave entitlement. Greater Mankato Growth strives to keep our businesses up-to-speed on key issues at the Legislature so that they can weigh-in and be their own best advocate. This paid leave issue is one that every business is going to want to take a look at. Check out our elected officials contact page so you can weigh-in with our local legislators with your thoughts.

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Legislature Opens: What You Need to Know

mn-capitol-with-flowers_mainthumb

Photo Credit: MinnPost

The Minnesota Legislature gavels into session today. They face a short 11 weeks to tackle significant policy priorities before they must adjourn on May 23rd. The big news is that the Legislature has a surplus of $900 million, lower than last year’s originally projected $1.2 billion. Legislative leaders and the Governor have been taking positions regarding a variety of uses of those funds, though planned tax and transportation bills could consume much, if not all, of that surplus squeezing out other proposed spending.

And this will all play out against the backdrop of elections that are less than a year away that will see each of the state’s 201 legislative seats in the House and Senate up for grabs. Read on for highlights on key issues. Be sure to check back on our blog page for continuing updates throughout the legislative session.

Also, be sure to register to participate in this year’s Greater Mankato at the Capitol on March 30. This event will be a great opportunity to help raise our community’s visibility with state leaders and get engaged on issues that are important to you and your business. Read More