Minnesota Secretary of State touts business initiative

Published 10:20 am Monday, April 3, 2017

Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon discussed the success of an initiative meant to help businesses Friday at the Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce.

During his visit, Simon discussed the Minnesota Business Snapshot, a voluntary program which aims to give consumers, businesses and education institutions information on economic and demographic data about businesses in Minnesota.

Steve Simon

The meeting included Simon, Albert Lea City Manager Chad Adams and Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Randy Kehr.

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The snapshot includes a voluntary, five-question survey offered to nearly 550,000 new existing businesses in Minnesota as they file annual renewals with the Secretary of State’s Office.

“We are looking to make this as useful and relevant and valuable as we can,” Simon said.

According to Simon, more than 100,000 businesses have signed up for the program. Businesses owners are asked about the type of the business they have, how many employees the company has, company revenue and whether the business is a full- or part-time operation.

According to Adams, the snapshot provides useful metrics and consolidates information well for businesses.

“Our members want to use these numbers to help them do a better job of running their business,” Kehr said.

“We can get some good numbers out of this that would be beyond interesting. It would say ‘this is what we really look like. This is what Minnesota is.’”

After the meeting, Simon said the program is meant to provide extra value for the business community and create a store of information that is beneficial for businesses and business associations.

“Increasingly, people want that kind of information, and we think that can spur a lot of interest and development,” he said.

Information gathered can be beneficial when businesses look to expand, Simon said.

According to Adams, the survey is great for Albert Lea and Albert Lea Port Authority so officials can share workplace trends that will help Albert Lea economically.

“It’s beneficial to all of us,” he said.

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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