Creating a Durable Prosperity: Why small business owners call for state investments

Holly Hatch-Surisook lives one mile from the successful restaurant she owns with her husband, Joe, in Northeast Minneapolis. Built from the ground up in 2008, Sen Yai Sen Lek Thai rice & noodles employs 25 dedicated workers who cook and serve delicious meals to satisfied customers day in and day out. Photo of Holly Hatch-Surisook

For Holly and Joe, their employees are more than workers. They are family. “Like many small businesses, we care very much about our employees beyond the labor they contribute to our company,” Holly said.

That’s why she is following the budget discussions happening at the state Capitol this spring. Some at the Capitol are proposing large, poorly targeted tax cuts, saying that should be a top priority for policymakers this year.

Holly disagrees.

Instead, Holly believes it’s important to understand that small businesses like her’s rely on state investments to ensure employees have adequate opportunities for a better life. “Unfortunately, our small business doesn’t have the financial capacity — the financial scale — to offer the kinds of employee benefits that large organizations do.”

That, she said, includes affordable child care, which could be expanded with additional state investments.

Holly added that if investments in priorities like more affordable child care are not made using our budget surplus, her employees will have higher expenses. “That could mean one parent needs to stay home to care for his or her family,” she said. “If he or she stays home because they cannot afford child care, that affects their quality of life and it affects the staffing for my restaurant. Neither is a good option.”

Holly thinks strategic investments are needed in our local communities — especially in resources that offer opportunities for more Minnesotans. Not only does Holly believe that state investment will improve her employees’ lives, it will also keep her business strong and growing.

Join Holly and other like-minded small business owners to ensure the Legislature enacts budget policies that build a broader, durable prosperity in Minnesota. Sign the petition today.

Then join in a discussion on why state investments matter to you via Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag, #MNProsperity.

About Laura Mortenson

Laura Mortenson is the Minnesota Budget Project's communications manager.
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