APRIL 2016
BUSINESS ADVOCACY TAKES CENTER STAGE FOR NORTHFIELD CHAMBER
By: Todd Bornhauser
One of our six goals for the Northfield Area                               THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSOR
Chamber of Commerce & Tourism in 2016 is 
Advocacy.  The Northfield Area Chamber of 
Commerce will influence and shape public policy 
to reflect business priorities while enhancing the 
climate for our member's growth, by monitoring 
and educating members and the community on 
business related issues, utilizing the resources of 
the Minnesota and US Chamber, and facilitating 
candidate forums.

One of the ways we are able to accomplish this goal is 
by working closely with the Minnesota Chamber.  
From forwarding legislative updates to our members, 
attending  Sessions Priorities  program and dinner, inviting Minnesota Chamber President Doug Loon to speak to our membership, to encouraging members to attend Business Days at the Capitol, we continue offer our members opportunities to discuss issues that are important to their business. 
 
The Northfield Area Chamber Board of Directors in February also voted to become a Minnesota Chamber of Commerce 2016 Federation Partner.  Federation Partnership requires the following four items: 
  •  Member of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce
  • Participate in grassroots efforts on priority issues
  • Be a Grow Minnesota partner
  • Support the four key Minnesota Chamber priorities
ENACT MEANINGFUL BUSINESS PROPERTY TAX RELIEF
Minnesota businesses property taxes are among the highest in the nation. Tax burdens on some properties are more than 90% higher than the national average and more than 200% higher than in neighboring states. Businesses pay a disproportionate share of the property tax; they have 12% of the market value but pay 32% of the total property tax. Much of that disparity is due to the classification system and the state levy that businesses must pay in addition to all their local property taxes. We support reducing this fixed cost of doing business by reducing the statewide levy and eliminating the automatic inflator. We oppose any additional shift of taxes to commercial/industrial properties.
 
TRANSPORTATION INVESTMENT
We support passage of a 10 year, comprehensive transportation funding package that provides increased investment in the state's multi-modal transportation infrastructure. This package should provide long-term, sustained investment that will enable the state to maintain our vital transportation infrastructure and provide for strategic enhancements. The state should use the General Fund revenues generated from the statewide sales tax on auto parts and rental cars to fund increased investment in our transportation system; augment any new investment through an increased focus on efficient use of resources; use Trunk Highway bonding to help finance projects in the state's road and bridge system and General Obligation bonding to support local road and bridge, transit way, port, rail, airport, and other transportation infrastructure projects across the state.  In addition, policymakers must ensure that the state's transit needs in both the metro area and Greater Minnesota are addressed through this comprehensive, long-term investment.
 
WAGE AND BENEFIT MANDATE PREEMPTION
Counties, cities, and townships should not be able to enact their own local minimum wage ordinances or benefit mandates as it will disrupt the state employment market and impede hiring practices and job growth. The Minnesota Chamber opposes the annual minimum wage automatic inflation index that begins in 2018, and believes the Legislature must remove the inflator from current law.
 
MINNESOTA HUMAN RIGHTS ACT MODIFICATION (ADA)
The Minnesota Chamber seeks to change the Minnesota Human Rights Act so that before a plaintiff can sue a business for a disability access violation, the plaintiff must serve that business with notice of the alleged violations. The notice must identify the nature of each alleged violation with specificity and give the business at least 90 days to begin to remedy the violation. A business should have up to one year from the date of notice to fix alleged violations that cannot be reasonably fixed in 90 days - i.e. structural changes or changes to a historic building. A plaintiff may only sue if the business fails to remedy the violation within the 90-day or one-year period, whichever timeline applies given the nature of the alleged violations.
 
But our work is just not at the state level.  On the local level, I try to be at every City Council Meeting and Work Session, to speak when necessary on business related topics and the impact council or staff decisions will have on the business community.  We have set up monthly meetings with the Mayor and City Council members to open the lines of communication and develop the trust and support needed between the business community and city.  While we have worked hard to develop those relationships in Northfield, we need to expand our scope to include Dundas in 2016.
 
With the Northfield School District, we have the fortune of having Superintendent Dr. Chris Richardson serve as an ex-officio member of the Board of Directors.  We have developed relationships with some school board members, but we need to reach all of them, and have a visible presence at School Board meetings.  I had the privilege and honor to be asked to participate in the community focus session and serve as a member of the community interview team that assisted in the hiring of new Superintendent Matthew Hillmann.
 
However, we have so much more to do, and I need the help of membership to accomplish our goals.  We first need to develop a Government Affairs/Public Policy committee of the Chamber.  This volunteer group can meet on a monthly basis, to look at issues and make recommendations to the boards on policy statements, and develop a yearly legislative platform.  They can also assist the camber on its grassroots efforts and the local and state lever.  In addition, they can help run the candidate forums the chamber will provide its member this fall.   
 
We are working hard every day to lead in the creation, promotion and enhancement of healthy business environment for the Northfield area.  Please, help me help you!







2016 State of the City Luncheon
Guest Speaker - Dana Graham 
 
Wednesday, April 13, 2016
11:30 am - Registration
12:00 noon - Lunch and Program 
 
The Grand Event Center
316 Washington Street
Northfield, MN 55057
 
$20.00 Members/$30.00 Non Members

Sponsored By:


Upcoming Events
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Business Benchmarks: Making Minnesota ready 
By Doug Loon, President of the Minnesota Chamber
The Minnesota Chamber works every day to help Minnesota businesses - large and small, all types and sizes - change, compete and grow. Our job is to make sure that Minnesota is ready for our next opportunities.

Policymakers and business leaders together are challenged to chart a path to maintain a vibrant economy. Minnesota must be ready for the future - ready for change and ready to grow. To do so, everyone must be on the same page with an objective measurement of where Minnesota businesses stand among the pressures of an interconnected global marketplace.
 
To that end, the Minnesota Chamber and our local Chamber Federation network is pleased to present our inaugural Minnesota Business Benchmarks - http://mnbiz.cc/1R2iiYW. These key economic indicators size up our business climate from a business perspective - providing comprehensive and impartial data on Minnesota's economic competitiveness. The benchmarks are collected from sources such as state and federal government data. We will update these measures annually and use them to advocate for both private-sector and public-sector solutions.
 
Among the key takeaways in our report:
  • Minnesota's quality of life and talented workforce is the envy of many.
  • There are mixed results for Minnesota's overall business and economic climate.
  • Too many indicators show Minnesota's cost of doing business as not competitive.
  • Minnesota is improving in key infrastructure areas of transportation and educational attainment, with more work to do. 
We must work collectively to build on the state's strengths and minimize its weaknesses. We must identify those statewide actions that make Minnesota ready for economic change, opportunity and growth.
 
A great deal of our attention will be on state government. What occurs inside the Capitol hallways in St. Paul matters greatly to our economic prosperity, because Gov. Mark Dayton and the Legislature can - and do - make strategic decisions that affect the ability of individuals to start, run and grow a business. 
 
It's noteworthy that our first Business Benchmarks provides an excellent springboard for the Minnesota Chamber's top priorities at this year's Legislature.
By cautiously using the surplus, we can invest in our economic and physical infrastructure by passing both strategic business tax relief and sustained investment in roads, bridges and transit.
 
We must pursue initiatives in the public and private sectors to better synchronize workforce skills with the needs of the changing economy. Access to a strong broadband network and providing investment tools for workforce housing development will help all regions of the state to grow.
 
We will engage on important topics like workplace regulations. We urge policymakers not to enact one-size-fits-all mandates that can reduce flexibility for employers and employees alike. Let's instead look to a private-sector solution that illuminates best practices and set clear goals for putting them to use in our workplaces.  In addition, we'll work with the State Council on Disability and Human Rights Commission to make sure small and midsized businesses have the time needed to comply with accessibility laws and avoid expensive lawsuits that can end up shutting these employers down. 

The Minnesota Chamber welcomes a robust discussion on identifying the public policies and delivering solutions to ensure that Minnesota is ready for change and ready to grow. That benefits all Minnesotans.
 
Doug Loon is president of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce - www.mnchamber.com
Welcome
New Members!!
March
 
Spare Room Underground Shoppe 
310 Division Street, Lower Level 
Northfield, MN 55057
507-301-3019
Primary Contact: Kris Sharp

Vintage Band Music Festival
204 West 7th Street, Suite 130 
Northfield, MN 55057
507-645-7554
Primary Contact: Jan Stevens 

City of Dundas
216 Railway Street North
Dundas, MN 55019
507-645-2852
Primary Contact: John McCarthy

Edgewood Townhomes Homeowners Association 
1012 Winona Street
Northfield, MN 55057
507-645-2724 
Primary Contact: Mary Olson

College City Design Build 
7910 Lakeville Blvd
Lakeville, MN 55044
952-469-6900
Primary Contact: Dale Pavek

MN Hardwood Floor Renewal
1951 Division Street South 
Northfield, MN 55057
507-366-2833
Primary Contact: 507-366-2833

Costco Wholesale
14050 Burnhaven Drive
Burnsville, MN 55337
952-229-6467
Primary Contact: Dani Urbank

Robert Stai Handyman Services
103 Third Street South
Dundas, MN 55019
507-301-6349
Primary Contact: Robert Stai

The Gear Resource Outfitters
201 Railway Street North
Dundas, MN 55019
507-407-4327
Primary Contact: Robert Stai

Midwest Teardrops
201 Railway Street North 
Dundas, MN 55019
507-307-6349
Primary Contact: Robert Stai

CCS Cleaning & Restoration
1202 Lyndale Avenue
Faribault, MN 55021
507-334-1774
Primary Contact: Andrew Ardolf

Bridgette Hallcock Photography
2647 87th Court West 
Northfield, MN 55057
507-271-3262
Primary Contact: Bridgette Hallcock

Landscape Dreams 
8775 Canby Court
Northfield, MN 55057
612-986-8883
Primary Contact: Ryan Clarey

March's Top 
Chamber Buck 
Redeemers: 

#1
 

#2
 

#3 


The Chamber Buck program is another member benefit offered by the Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism. We encourage members to proudly display their "Chamber Bucks Accepted Here" stickers and promote their acceptance in their own marking materials. For ideas please contact the Chamber office. 

According to a study conducted by Local First "local retailers return an average of 52 percent of their revenue to the local economy, compared with just 14 percent for the chain retailers.  Similarly, the local restaurants re-circulate an average of 79 percent of their revenue locally, compared to 30 percent for the chain eateries." 

logo

Other members that took advantage of the Chamber Buck program in February include:

A Bag Lady
Mainstream Boutique
Gooters Dough To Go & More
Basil's Pizza
Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar
The Quarterback Club  

Remember Chamber Bucks
make great gifts or employee incentives. Available all year in $5, $10 and $25 denominations 
Ambassador's In Action!
Carlson Capital Management 
507-645-8887


Lampert Lumber
507-645-9553


Award Centre
507-645-6680


Business Spotlight

Haugen Chiropractic

Contact Person:  Hilary Alweis
Email Address:   hilary.alweis@gmail.com   
Phone Number:   507-663-1271
Physical Address :  206 W 7th St, Northfield, MN 55057
Website URL:  haugenchiropractic.com
 
How did the business get started?  
I joined the business in August of 2015 as a women and children specialist.

What products or services do you sell? 
As a chiropractor I work with families to help keep them healthy and thriving. I love helping women deal with PMS, menopause, infertility and pregnancy. I really love helping grow healthy children. At Haugen Chiropractic we use a holistic approach, including adjusting and nutrition counseling, to help with all of these problems.  

What's the one thing your business is known for over your competitors? I'm a female chiropractor in a very male dominated town. I'm working toward my pediatric certification to help better serve my clients.   

Who is your target market? 
Moms and kids! Or women who may be thinking about starting or expanding their family.

Have economic changes effected your business? I haven't been in practice long enough to be able to say.

How do you market your business? Community outreach. I'm constantly out networking and trying to schedule education talks.

If you could do it all over again, what is one thing you would do differently?  
I would have waited for the correct opportunity right off the bat. It took me a while to find this one and I feel like I wasted a lot of energy and resources chasing bad fits.

Is there anything additional you would like fellow Chamber members to know about your business?  
I'm here to serve the community any way I can. I love doing education talks and have a variety of health subjects I'm ready to talk about. Let me know if there is anything in particular that I can help you with and we will see what we can do.
Chamber Happenings

       







Morning Business Brew at the offices of  
Mr. JST Technology Consulting, 
Thrivant Financial - Tracy Fossum and 
Farm Bureau - Dan Hummel









Business After Hours at The Northfield Golf Club







Dining with State Legislators at the Minnesota Chamber 2016 Sessions Priorities















March 2016 General Membership Luncheon with guest speaker Doug Loon, President of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce - Thank you to our sponsor Larson's Printing
Member News
The Color Dash is coming to Northfield on Saturday, April 9! Grab your friends and family and get ready for a 5k of color and fun. Half of the proceeds will benefit Rice County Habitat.  

Northfield Public Libary Grand Re-opening  
Saturday, May 7
10:00 am Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
11:00 am - 5:00 pm Music, Dancing, Self-Guided Tours throughout the renovated library
Everyone is Welcome!
Sponsored by the Friends of the Northfield Pubic Library
www.northfieldpubliclibraryfriends.org

Carlson Capital Management was named one of the Top 100 Small Business in the country by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
 
___________________________ 
 
Do you have business news to share? We want to hear about it! Please contact Lindsay at lindsay@northfieldchamber.com to have your big announcement in next months newsletter. 
Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce |  Lindsay@northfieldchamber.com   http://www.northfieldchamber.com
 205 Third Street, Suite B
Northfield, MN 55057