ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- The Minnesota Mainstreet Alliance hosted a forum Monday to discuss Gov. Tim Walz's recently announced budget proposal.
Walz's budget touts a $50 million loan forgiveness program for small businesses. It also proposed $3 million to invest in small businesses, especially those owned by minorities, women and veterans.
Three Minnesota small business owners discussed their struggles in the forum. They cited how the pandemic shut downs cut into their bottom lines and made it difficult to balance running a business, taking care of their children and employees.
Of all the governor's proposals, all three owners agreed that the possibility of a statewide 12-week paid family and medical leave program was the most important.
They said the pandemic caused more of their employees to need time off because of sickness or to take care of a family member. They said the welfare of their employees is a top priority.
"The governor's proposal for a paid medical and family leave option would give me that kind of support," Butter Bakery owner Daniel Swenson-Klatt said. "In the future, I could budget for that small bit each time. I could figure out a way to make that work. I would gladly pay for it to be able to support my staff at any time, not just when the cash flow is right."
The owners said they hope for bipartisan support on the budget. They feel its in Minnesotans' best interest and will aid in the recovery of the economy.
Walz's budget also calls for a tax increase on the wealthiest residents, and what he calls a "working family tax credit" for more than 300,000 eligible households.
You can find more about the proposed budget here.