• May 31, 2017 1:57 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    State legislation signed by Governor Dayton yesterday prevents the city from banning plastic bags. The rule still allows the city to mandate a fee for bags distributed however. City staff have commented that there will not be any penalties issued to businesses as they sort out the best way to proceed. As soon as more information is available, SWBA will provide an update.

  • May 30, 2017 12:35 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    City staff presented recommendations to City Council last week regarding a city specific minimum wage ordinance, and Council has directed staff to move forward with draft language for a Minneapolis minimum wage.

    SWBA submitted a report on impact to small business and has also created a short video highlighting three local business owners who discuss how the Minneapolis specific minimum wage might impact their business. 

    See our regulatory affairs page for more details.

  • November 02, 2016 1:01 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Most members of the Southwest Business Association meet the criteria to receive Small Business Saturday marketing kits. 

    What's the catch? Most of our members meet the requirements. Kits must be ordered by November 11th.

    Request Your Kit

  • November 02, 2016 12:57 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We are on the home stretch of construction for the 2016 season. Crews are expecting to wrap up and reopen 54th street before the end of the month. 

    Due to a heavily rainy season, crews were unable to perform sidewalk construction this year. This means we'll have to expect some closures next season as they return to complete that work. 

    SWBA has requested to have a meeting with planners and businesses to review how this project season went, and to coordinate for minimum impact during the construction project for next season. If you are a business near the affected area, please watch your email for details as that meeting is planned and scheduled.

  • October 14, 2016 10:45 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The City funded research on the impact of a $15 minimum wage is complete and available to the public. President Perry and Coordinator Reinhardt attended the Committee of the Whole meeting to hear first hand the reported results from the research team. Organization leadership is working to analyze the report in preparation for discussions moving forward.

    View the report at:

  • July 23, 2016 1:19 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The activist group Vote 15 Now has submitted a petition to City Council asking that it put a measure on the ballot next election day that would place a mandated $15 minimum wage within the city's charter. Below is the specific language of the petition:

    1.                    Amend Charter Article IV, City Council, § 4.1, Function, by adding a new paragraph (g), Minimum Wage, which shall read as follows:

    (g) Minimum Wage. The City of Minneapolis is dedicated to improving its residents’ quality of life. Income inequality, low wages, and a high cost of living relative to other parts of the state are serious economic and social problems facing the City. Many City residents work long hours but cannot afford housing, food, medical care, and other basic necessities. The City has an interest in promoting the health, safety, and welfare of workers, their families, and their communities by ensuring they can support themselves through work. When workers in the City earn decent wages, such wages can also boost the local economy. Therefore, the City chooses to establish a minimum wage to better enable workers to afford the minimum necessities. This minimum wage will be phased in gradually.

                    (1) Definitions. Terms used in this section 4.1(g) have the same meaning as in the Minnesota Fair Labor Standards Act except as modified herein.

                                    (A) For the purposes of subsection (2) of this section 4.1(g), the number of employees employed by an employer includes the total number of employees (full-time or part-time) working for the employer anywhere in the United States, including, in the case where the employer is a franchisee, all employees employed by other franchisees of the same franchisor.

                                    (B) “Cost of living” shall be measured by the percentage increase, if any, of the non-seasonally adjusted consumer price index (Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers, U.S. City Average for all items) or its successor index as published by the U.S. Department of Labor or its successor agency, for the most recent 12-month period for which data is available at the time the cost of living adjustment is calculated.

                    (2) Minimum Wage.

                                    (A) Employers with 500 or more employees shall pay each employee expected to work 25 or more hours in a calendar year within the geographic boundaries of the City for each hour worked within the geographic boundaries of the City an hourly minimum wage of no less than:

                                                    (I) Starting August 1, 2017: $10.00,

                                                    (II) Starting August 1, 2018: $11.75,

                                                    (III) Starting August 1, 2019: $13.50,

                                                    (IV) Starting August 1, 2020: $15.00,

                                                    (V) Starting August 1, 2021, and each August 1 thereafter, the hourly minimum wage shall be adjusted to keep pace with the rising cost of living.

                                    (B) Employers with fewer than 500 employees shall pay each employee expected to work 25 or more hours in a calendar year within the geographic boundaries of the City for each hour worked within the geographic boundaries of the City an hourly minimum wage of no less than:

                                                    (I) Starting August 1, 2017: $10.00,

                                                    (II) Starting August 1, 2018: $11.00,

                                                    (III) Starting August 1, 2019: $12.00,

                                                    (IV) Starting August 1, 2020: $13.00,

                                                    (V) Starting August 1, 2021, $14.00,

                                                    (VI) Starting August 1, 2022: $15.00,

                                                    (VII) Starting August 1, 2023, and each August 1 thereafter, the hourly minimum wage will not be less than the minimum wage set by subsection (2)(A)(V) of this section 4.1(g).

                                    (C) Gratuities not applied. No employer may directly or indirectly credit, apply, or utilize gratuities towards payment of the minimum wage set by this section 4.1(g).

                                    (D) Sharing of gratuities. The Minnesota Fair Labor Standards Act will govern the sharing of gratuities under this section 4.1(g).

                    (3) Interpretation. Nothing in this charter shall discourage or prohibit ordinances, rules, or policies providing for higher or supplemental wages or benefits or extending such protections to persons not covered by this section 4.1(g). Case law and standards developed under the Minnesota Fair Labor Standards Act shall guide the construction of this section 4.1(g) and any implementing ordinances or rules.

                    (4) Enforcement. The City shall enforce this section 4.1(g) and any implementing ordinances or rules. Where an employee or person has been paid less than the hourly minimum wage required under this section 4.1(g), or been subject to any other violation of their rights under this section 4.1(g) or implementing ordinances or rules, including, but not limited to, retaliation for asserting or attempting to assert their rights, the employee or person may bring an administrative complaint with the City, or the employee, person, or City may bring a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction, and, upon prevailing in either proceeding, shall be awarded the full amount of any back wages unlawfully withheld and an additional two times that amount as damages together with reasonable attorney’s fees and costs, as well as interest on all amounts due and unpaid, and may be awarded an administrative penalty and any additional appropriate legal or equitable relief. Implementing legislation is not required to enforce this section 4.1(g). The City shall enact penalties designed to effectively deter violations of this section 4.1(g), including, but not limited to, penalties that will increase for repeat offenses and will deter employers from engaging in any form of retaliation against persons asserting or attempting to assert rights under this section 4.1(g).

                    (5) Public Outreach and Education. The City shall implement multilingual and culturally-specific outreach and education programs, including collaboration with and grants to community organizations, to educate employees regarding rights under this section 4.1(g) and any implementing ordinances or rules, or to provide assistance or support to employees or the City in filing and resolving complaints or pursuing other enforcement actions.

                    (6) Severability. If any portion of this section 4.1(g) is held invalid, in whole or in part, or in its application, by a court of competent jurisdiction, such portion or application shall be severable, and such invalidity shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions or applications of this section 4.1(g).

  • May 31, 2016 12:47 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Small businesses are often those who open shop in older buildings that don't meet today's ADA standards. With that, more prevalent in recent years, has been a string of ADA lawsuits demanding that businesses perform huge amounts of work to their properties in order to remain open.

    There's some good news on the horizon though. The Minnesota legislature has passed a bill making frivolous law suits tougher to file, an effort to help protect our vibrant small business communities. Read more at:

  • May 28, 2016 9:54 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Yesterday morning, Minneapolis City Council unanimously voted to approve the sick and safe time ordinance. SWBA leadership worked hard to advocate on your behalf, and we thank each and every one of you who took time out of your busy schedules over the past several months to provide information and insight to us and the council. Watch for an FAQ on what this new ordinance will mean for small businesses to come out soon.

  • April 16, 2016 8:40 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Managing Your Growth ModeWednesday, April 20th
    7:30 - 9:00 AM
    Hamline University

    This Business Owner Seminar Series discusses managing cash, credit, and capital while your business experiences growth. Ask questions in an open format and leave with concrete actions for better managing this phase.

  • April 12, 2016 12:41 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The state is considering the formation of a Small Business Bureau to assist small businesses by serving as a clearinghouse, technical assistance center, and referral service for information and other assistance needed by small businesses including small targeted group businesses and small businesses located in an economically disadvantaged area.

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Southwest Business Association is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization. Minnesota , P.O. Box 8932, Minneapolis, MN 55408

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