Southwest businesses skeptical about paid sick time

New small businesses in southwest Minneapolis have expressed concerns about the possibility of a new citywide mandatory paid sick time policy.

About 100 small businesses responded to a survey by the Southwest Business Association (SWBA) gauging their ability to comply with a citywide mandatory paid sick policy.

The survey included responses from a variety of businesses, including restaurants, retail and professional services, among others.

SWBA President Matt Perry said paid sick days are an ideal, but not something all businesses can afford.

“Providing paid time off is something we know every employer would like to do, but we as a city need to recognize the reality that not all owners are in the financial position to do so, especially those owning or starting a small business,” Perry said. “These are the very businesses that contribute to making Minneapolis a great place to live.”

Some smaller businesses in the city, however, have been advocating for a citywide paid sick time policy, including Common Roots Café on Lyndale.

The city-appointed Workplace Partnership Group is expected to deliver its recommendations on a paid sick time ordinance to the City Council’s Committee of the Whole on Wednesday, March 16.

The 15-member group is analyzing feedback gathering during listening sessions throughout the city and paid sick policies in other cities.

About 40 percent of Minneapolis workers lack access to paid sick time and they are disproportionately women and people of color.