Highlighting Minneapolis

Minnesota Black Entrepreneurs Day

Posted on 02/04/24

AARP was proud to support Black Entrepreneurs Day at the Capitol on February 16. The event is presented by ShelettaMakesMeLaugh.com, a small business founded by podcast entrepreneur Sheletta Brundidge.

Black Entrepreneurs Day brings together hundreds of Minnesota’s Black small business owners to the Capitol and will again include one-on-one meetings with elected leaders, legislators, and policymakers.

AARP’s online courses can help you learn the fundamentals of starting a successful venture.

AARP has an opportunity during the event to meet with small business owners and inform them about two pieces of legislation that passed in 2023, Secure Choice and Paid Family and Medical Leave. AARP is also invested in making sure small business owners and their employees have the tools and resources they need to retire with financial security. Our small business resource center includes tip sheets on developing a financial wellness plan for you and your employees.

Secure Choice
750,000 Minnesota workers lack access to a plan on the job, and workers of color are the least likely to have access to a retirement plan. Access to workplace retirement plans is critical to helping people save. That's why AARP advocated for a new Secure Choice program to help workers save for their future.

Secure Choice is a public-private partnership Individual Retirement Plan (IRA) with private investments and Minnesota State Board of Investment oversight. Employers with five or more employees who do not offer a retirement plan will be required to enroll their workers in the state's IRA plan in January 2025. The plan is voluntary for workers and easy for businesses to administer.  

Paid Family and Medical Leave
AARP is particularly focused on supporting small business owners and employees who are also caregiving. Most people will provide care for a loved one at some point in their lives. Today 73% of employees are likely providing care for a child and/or an adult in their family, even as they strive to help build your small business.

Last year, AARP advocated for a paid family leave program to help alleviate family caregivers' financial, health and emotional stress and help retain participation in the labor force, especially women who provide the bulk of eldercare.  

Under the new law, workers can take up to 12 weeks for bonding and family leave and up to 12 weeks for one's own serious medical condition, up to a maximum of 20 weeks annually. Workers can use Paid Family and Medical Leave to care for someone not related by blood or marriage, such as a significant other, neighbor, or friend. 

Beginning January 1, 2026, each employer and employee will pay a .35% payroll tax—about $175 a year for someone who makes $50,000. Both companies and workers would be required to participate, although businesses that offer a private plan with equal or better benefits could opt out.  

The law also provides small businesses with premium support and grants to help hire temporary workers, job protections after 90 days of employment, and a progressive wage replacement of up to 90% of one's wages for low-income workers. Minnesota will become the 12th state, along with the District of Columbia, to offer paid leave.

WCCO-AM Interview

AARP State Director, Cathy McLeer, was interviewed on WCCO-AM with Sheletta Brundidge. Listen to the full interview at https://bit.ly/4bqENIA

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