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Bus tour highlighting small business struggles visits Rochester; Rep. Jim Hagedorn presented with an award

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- The Bring Small Businesses Back (BSBB) Bus Tour presented by Job Creator Network (JCN) says it is hitting the road across several states with some goals including promoting the business leaders, legislators, and other advocates that are defending small businesses. The tour is highlighting the importance of small businesses in a community.

U.S. Representative Jim Hagedorn has been pushing to help small business get back on their feet. Monday he was presented with the JCN's "Defender of Small Business" award at the event.

According JCN there are about 30 million small business owners in this country with more than half a million small businesses in Minnesota.

Many small, family business owners say their biggest challenge right now is finding workers.

"If you look around it's kind of nice that we have some trucks we could bring in for you folks to see, but quite honestly these trucks shouldn't be here. It's a Monday, these trucks should be out on the road, and they're not. They're not because we cannot find the labor, the professional drivers to run these trucks," stated Lawrence Transportation CEO Eric Lawrence.

30 percent of the jobs in the Rochester community come from small businesses according to former chamber of commerce president Kathleen Harrington.

"We can really speak with great authority to the pain that comes on small business from the combined impact of local, state and federal legislation and regulation," said Harrington.

President Biden is calling for employers with 100 or more employees to require their workers get vaccinated or tested for COVID-19 once a week.

Minnesota has about 4,800 private businesses that would qualify under Biden's vaccine mandate.

"I think it can affect them in a very negative way. Particularly when businesses are already having a tough time finding labor and skilled work force," stated Congressman Jim Hagedorn.

The BSBB Tour Bus will continue with its next stop in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

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Carli Petrus

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