Wages & Small Business

Our city's workers and small-business owners deserve a mayor who will advocate for them and innovative policies to advance wages and benefits, and to create an environment where citizens can pick up a good idea and run with it, unhindered by city red tape and bureaucracy.

  • Implement, enforce, and defend Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Leave. I am proud to have authored Minneapolis's paid sick leave ordinance. I am also proud to have been one of the first members of the City Council to come out in support a minimum wage increase more than two years ago, before it was politically expedient to do so and when a majority of the city council and the mayor were still opposed to it. I recognized that we needed a Minneapolis-tailored policy for minimum wage, and that small and local businesses cannot be treated the exact some way as large corporations and franchises, which is why I crafted the ordinance that gave small and local businesses a 7 year phase in to arrive at $15. Unfortunately, these progressive policies are already being attacked by powerful special interests. As Mayor, I will defend these policies from legal challenges and pre-emption at the state level and strictly enforce penalties for non-compliance.
  • Expand support for the Small Business Navigators program. Established by Council Member Andrew Johnson, this program uses navigators to help small businesses work through the often-complex processes needed to open and run a successful business in Minneapolis. This program is especially helpful for members of our immigrant community, as they navigate cultural and language barriers.
  • Encourage small-space retail and commercial units. During transitions in commercial tenancy or property ownership, commercial spaces should be split into smaller spaces. Smaller spaces prevent corporate franchises from setting up their boilerplate while also allowing for cheaper rents that give upstart entrepreneurs an opportunity to open. This provision will help create diverse and vibrant streetscapes.