ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton said Tuesday that the state is submitting a “solid,” “business-like” bid for Amazon’s second world headquarters.
Cities and states across the country are scrambling to win the Amazon sweepstakes with tax incentives and other benefits, but some Minnesota small business owners say the state should pay more attention to them.
The owner of Moon Palace Books in Minneapolis, Angela Schwesnedl, is looking for the same kind of attention Minnesota is showing Amazon.
“Giving tax breaks to big companies like Amazon does not create the kind of economy that helps small businesses or most people thrive,” she said.
Minnesota’s among more than 50 states and cities making a secret bid for Amazon headquarters — a bid that could include millions of dollars in future tax incentives.
Dan Marshall, the owner of Mischief, a family run St. Paul toy store, says small business owners operate with a lot of uncertainty.
“While Amazon and companies like it have received literally hundreds of millions of dollars in tax subsidies,” Marshall said, “small business owners like us wake up every morning wondering if we’re going to have health insurance again in a few months.”
Small business owners are asking for small business investments that include health care, child care, retirement security and access to investment capital.
Dayton says it would mean a lot to win the jobs Amazon is promising, but also says his goal is protecting businesses already here.
“It’s not either or,” Dayton said. “The focus on Amazon, while it has been intensive for the last six weeks — it’s time limited. Our support for Minnesota businesses that are here and growing will be ongoing.”
Minnesota has 18 Fortune 500 companies, some of the largest and most successful companies in America.
Small businesses in Minnesota employ 1.2 million workers, and create 30,000 jobs every year.
“We want to see the same level of energy — and actually more energy — that goes into responding to an RFP [request for proposal bid] that Amazon puts out to one that comes from people like us,” said Danny Schwartzman, owner of Common Roots Café in Minneapolis.
Watch Dayton’s Tuesday press conference below: