Local Legislators Discuss Local Issues At Annual Eggs & Issues Event
Many Lakes Area business owners enjoyed their breakfast this morning while interacting with their local legislators discussing issues that affect business in the area at the annual Eggs & Issues Event.
“We cover issues related to business, jobs, and the economy,” Matt Kilian, Brainerd Chamber of Commerce President, said. “There’s a lot of different businesses here today, a lot of different sectors, and we covered a lot of topics that really matter in the state of Minnesota.”
The three major topics at the breakfast were health care for employees, taxes, and the shortage in the workforce.
“Work force issues in our neck of the woods are tough,” District 9A Representative John Poston said. “We have a lot of young people that are going to a four-year college just because they believe they have to [in order] to get a good job, and that’s not necessarily true.”
Poston said that the Lakes Area desperately needs workers that have a specific trade. Technical schools in the area are doing a good job preparing workers for the workforce, but more students have to be interested in learning trades.
The next topic of discussion was the economy and taxes.
“This economy in Minnesota has been very strong,” District 10A Representative Josh Heintzeman said. “We have to be very careful going forward that we make sure we’re watching spending; we’re not just going to go ahead and make it a free-for-all because we are in a surplus. We have to be very cautious and make sure we have a great balanced budget.”
The almost $1.5 billion surplus could mean lower taxes for businesses in the future.
“Everybody is concerned about taxes,” Poston said. “We need to do something with the surplus, or over taxation, to bring our taxes down hopefully.”
The lower taxes could result in more businesses thriving, and to help businesses attract more customers, the Brainerd Chamber of Commerce President discussed the National Loon Center which could be built as soon as 2022, attracting visitors from all over.
“80,000 year-round tourists that are coming into the community every single year,” Kilian said. “They are learning about our state bird, they are learning about conservation, and they are also patronizing our businesses. So, it’s really a win-win situation.”
Today’s Eggs and Issues Event was also a win-win for business owners and legislators.
“This is always a great event,” Poston said. “The legislators love coming to it, I think the business people like coming, and like I said, we all learn a lot.”
Now, legislators will take what they learned from today’s meeting, and hopefully push the ideas forward at the capitol.
The representatives at the Eggs and Issues Breakfast want to hear from the public and encouraged anyone to reach out to them via e-mail if they have any questions or concerns.