Start-ups key to Minnesota post-virus economic recovery

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To say that 2020 has been a challenging year for the Minnesota economy would be an understatement. In the first three months of the COVID-19 pandemic, we lost a stunning 385,000 jobs. We’ve paid over $8.5 billion in unemployment insurance benefits to Minnesotans — 10 times more than we ever have in a single year. And consumer confidence hinges on the trajectory of the coronavirus, which continues to spread at an alarming rate.

But from recession will come renewal. While a lot of work remains to protect our workforce and economy from the COVID-19 pandemic, we cannot wait to begin the work of making Minnesota’s economic recovery strong, smart and equitable.

One of the most important things we can do in the coming year is to foster the growth of new businesses and start-ups. Small businesses account for a whopping 47% of the jobs in the state — a trend that’s mirrored nationally. What’s more, new businesses are responsible for nearly all net new jobs and 20% of gross job creation in our economy, according to a study published by MIT.

Growth from new businesses always accelerates during recessions. Entrepreneurs see possibilities for disruption in the market, and layoffs force people into thinking creatively about their future. According …

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