Small Business Owners And Elected Officials Advocate For Paid Leave

DULUTH, Minn. – The implementation of Duluth’s Earned Sick and Safe Time is set to go into effect in January.

Elected officials and small business owners  gathered at Vikre Distillery in Duluth to advocate for statewide Paid Family and Medical Leave insurance.

The Duluth earned sick and safe time will allow people to accrue days off to care for themselves or someone else.

But in the event of a major medical emergency a vast majority of working people face the risk of losing a paycheck if they need to take an extended period of time.

And if a small business wishes to support their employees during that time off it can be a financial strain without the help from Paid Family and Medical Leave insurance.

“My main shop supervisor had his hip replaced a couple of years ago, it cost me around 3,000 to pay him to stay home,” said Owner of Sprayrack Todd Mikkelson.

Co–founder of the Vikre Distillery says he supports paid leave, because the idea of no insurance can keep small businesses from being competitive in the job market.

“What we do to try and take responsibility ends up making us less competitive and making it harder to pay the bills. so we want to be able to provide better jobs for people and we want to be able to compete with big businesses,” said Joel Vikre.

Paid Family and Medical Leave would provide up to 12 weeks to employees using the insurance and could cost employers less than $2 a week to offer it to employees.

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