May 1, 2017
Celebrating National Small Business Week! 
We are excited to be celebrating National Small Business Week with you. Nearly 90% of our Chamber members have less than 100 employees so this is a big week! All week we will be highlighting several of our small business members through video, sharing small business statistics with you, and asking you to help us make all of our small businesses feel the love.

Take Action Today: Shop at your local small business. Here is a list of Chamber member retailers, restaurants, and more. Have fun!

Featured Small Business: Andros ENT & Sleep Center

Click here to learn what advice Dr. Inell Rosario has for those thinking about starting a small business.

Andros ENT & Sleep Center is a private practice ear, nose, throat, audiology and sleep clinic with a 2 bed sleep lab. Our sleep lab and durable medical equipment divisions/ CPAP are certified by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. We provide ear, nose, throat, and facial plastic care for both pediatric and adult patients and as well perform in office hearing tests / hearing aid dispensing, CT scans, sinus surgeries and biopsies as needed. 

Our Small Business Week is presented by:

Committed to Business... for YOU.
At the Capitol:  The Countdown Begins...
With three weeks remaining in the 2017 Legislative Session, much work is yet to be done; however, we continue to make incremental progress on a number of our priorities. Following are some key action items that took place last week:
  • Uniform State Labor Standards Act (H.F. 600 / S.F. 580). House Conferees are Rep. Pat Garofalo (R-Farmington), Rep. Dave Baker (R-Willmar) and Rep. Jean Poppe (D-Austin). Senate Conferees are Sen. Jeremy Miller (R-Winona), Sen. Julie Rosen (R-Vernon Center), and Sen. Dan Sparks (D-Austin). Just a reminder, it is critical that we match the enthusiasm of the opposition in contacting Governor Dayton. We strongly encourage the business community to continue its grassroots efforts. Thanks to those that continue to talk with their legislators about this important wage and benefit issue. 
  • Good news for ADA Lawsuit Reform. ADA passed the House on Thursday afternoon on a vote of 110-22. All Dakota County area legislators supported the bill - Thank you! Now on to the Senate.
  • Your Chamber along with several other metro chambers distributed a resolution on Friday, strongly encouraging legislators to pass a long-term comprehensive multi-modal transportation bill. 
  • Business Property Tax Relief remains a priority and both the House and Senate bills have included this provision in their tax relief packages. The bills call for a removal of the automatic inflator and exempt either the first $100,000 or $200,000 of value.
  • REAL ID - the bill is currently in conference committee to resolve differences related to the ability of undocumented immigrations to obtain drivers' licenses.   
  • During a press conference on Friday, the Senate and House announced their budget targets.     
Next steps for you? Contact Governor Dayton and encourage his support of Uniform State Labor Standards Act.
Ribbon Cutting Round-Up 
Are you looking for additional opportunities to network? Ribbon cuttings can be a great place to see new or remodeled businesses, network with other attendees, and continue to nurture the relationships you are building. It's ribbon cutting season so there are plenty of opportunities to take advantage of! See the calendar below for more information on the six ribbon cuttings/groundbreaking ceremonies scheduled for May. 

Thank you to our Ribbon Cutting sponsor: 
Events Calendar

11:30 a.m.
Executive Committee

7:30 a.m.
Nominating Committee

11:30 a.m.

7:30 a.m.

11:00 a.m.
11:30 a.m.


8:00 a.m.
Farmington Business Council

8:00 a.m.

8:00 a.m.

10:30 a.m.

7:30 a.m.
Board of Directors

7:30 a.m.

4:00 p.m.
7:00 p.m.

7:30 a.m.

8:00 a.m.

8:00 a.m.
Government Affairs Committee

8:00 a.m.

8:00 a.m.
 Did You Know? 

According to the National Association for the Self-Employed, in the United States, a sole proprietorship is the most common way a business is owned. 79.66% of small businesses are owned by a single individual. 

  •  As of 2016, the top three marketing tools used by small businesses include email (54%), website (51%), and social media (48%). Read more.
  • 18 percent of business owners in the Twin Cities are women; this is just one percent lower than the 19 percent of the United States. Read more.
Labor Trend Information Released 
Minnesota Employment and Economic Development's Labor  Market Information Office recently released information on workforce trends. Since 2009, Dakota County's average annual wage has been steadily climbing, landing at $51,168 in 2016 ( see graphic). In a sampling of 10 different industries within Dakota County, insurance carriers & related and specialty trade contractors reported the most number of jobs in the third quarter of 2016. Clothing & clothing accessories stores have seen the largest percent of job growth between 2011 and 2016 ( see graphic). 
Local Focus: Find Out What's Happening In Your Community
Farmington City Council meets May 1 - see the agenda
Eagan City Council meets May 2 - see the agenda
Rosemount City Council meets May 2 - see the agenda
Mendota Heights City Council meets May 2 - see the agenda
Dakota County Board of Commissioners meets May 2 - see the agenda

Member Spotlight: The Value of Making Connections
Jake Sedlacek, Xcel Energy
I love living and working in Dakota County. As a community relations manager with Xcel Energy, I serve as a resource for our electric and gas customers, as well as for our city and business leaders. I've been at this for 4 years now, and it seems that every day in the energy industry provides new learning opportunities. Prior to working with Xcel Energy, I worked in local government, and always supported the notion of local companies connecting and growing together.
I participate in the Chamber because I have seen firsthand the value of local businesses making connections. My favorite event is Coffee Break - it's a great way to start the work day, touching base with community leaders, and sharing/hearing about exciting developments in the business community. I've also enjoyed being a part of the Business Excellence Awards Committee for the past two years - we have a lot to celebrate, maybe one night a year isn't enough! The Chamber provides a wealth of opportunities for me to represent my company, and build relationships with our customers. I look forward to meeting you at an upcoming event!
New Members
We welcome the following new members!

Richfield Flowers & Events
Beef Jerky Outlet
Summit Orthopedics
Thrivent Financial - Scot Kretzschmar

Burns, Ward and Burns 
Gino Ward
1545 Livingston Avenue, Suite 103
West St. Paul, MN 55118
(651) 450-0863
Visit website here
We make insurance easy. At the Burns, Ward, and Burns Insurance Agency we compete to protect your vehicles, home/properties, motorized toys, businesses, and your financial future. Whether you are just starting out or have accumulated multiple properties, businesses, or financial assets we build custom insurance packages for you and your family and when you call in you will always be speaking to a fully licensed agent. We would love to take a shot at insuring you and your family and we consider it our job to bring money when you need it most!

Twin City Underwriters
Leah Paulsen
5874 Blackshire Path
Inver Grove Heights, MN 55076
(651) 488-0172
Visit website here

Founded in 1968 by Robert Peterson, Twin City Underwriters is an independent insurance agency currently operated by Robert's son, Tom. We understand that choosing an insurance plan can be overwhelming. Our dedicated team will help you find the right fit for your situation and will stay in communication with you every step step of the way. We will make this process as easy as possible. Our experienced and licensed agents are knowledgeable about the the different types of Medicare plans available to you. We offer free Medicare workshops throughout the Twin Cities. Additionally, you can meet with an agent one-on-one for a free consultation. 

Callie Bailey
1873 South Robert Street
West St. Paul, MN 55118
(651) 552-5922
Visit website here

The West St. Paul Sprint Store provides an excellent customer and employee experience. We take pride in our products and services. We provide the best quality products to our customers including Samsung, Apple, HTC and LG smartphones and tablets. We also are running at the fastest LTE data speeds, while keeping our costs the lowest in the industry. Sprint is here to serve you, your friends and family. Come check us out! You will be very happy with your experience.

Watch for more information about these fine companies in upcoming Weekly Updates.
Renewing Members
Last week these awesome members renewed their Chamber membership. Thank you!!  
Celebrate Business Success
News on what's happening with our members and in the community!

Our Ambassador's, along with sponsor Valley Staffing, celebrated the opening of a new businesses last week. Advantage Life Chiropractic opened in Inver Grove Heights and is ready to help you with all of your chiropractic needs. Congratulations to Advantage Life Chiropractic! 

Congratulations to Kelly Flaherty on being named the new branch manager of Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union's Lakeville branch. Read more about Kelly.

Our Ambassadors recently helped Twin City Homes in Rosemount celebrate the remodeling of their office with a ribbon cutting sponsored by Valley Staffing. Congrats to Don Sinnwell and Twin City Homes on a beautiful space!
Congratulations to Bill Cottrell and Cottrell Law Firm on celebrating 15 years in business! Cottrell Law Firm is a leader in the collection of debts in Minnesota, and has just recently expanded into North Dakota.

SPIRE Credit Union has been presented with three Diamond Awards for Excellence, nationally recognizing outstanding marketing and business development achievements within the credit union industry. Read more. Congratulations SPIRE!

Rick King, CIO at Thomson Reuters, was recently interviewed by Peter High of Forbes Magazine. Check it out!
 Dakota County Regional Chamber of Commerce
3352 Sherman Court, Suite 201
Eagan, MN 55121