Pressure is building from lawmakers for the state of Minnesota to do more to help small businesses.
Legislators from the south metro are holding a round table Monday to get input from businesses leaders on what their needs and problems are.
According to U.S. Small Business Administration, Minnesota is home to 498,606 business that employ fewer than 500 people. That figure includes 376,864 people who are self-employed; 2,495 businesses employ more than 500 people.
DFL Rep. Phil Sterner, whose district includes Rosemount and Apple Valley, said small businesses create jobs and they need more assistance.
"There are almost no programs to help them; there is no loan assistance, so if we can just generate those...[it] would be just huge for us to be able to get our economy on the road," he said.
Sterner is compiling data from a south metro small business survey by the end of the year. The information will be shared with a bipartisan group of lawmakers and the governor.
Minneapolis DFL Rep. Joe Mullery is also holding a separate forum to hear from business leaders in his district Monday. Mullery said small businesses are a major engine for job growth in the state and they need more support.
"With the bad economy there are a lot of people... out of jobs," he said. "We are trying to help small businesses because most people are employed by small businesses."
Speaker of the House Margaret Anderson Kelliher, Majority Leader Tony Sertich and other lawmakers are also meeting with business leaders at a separate roundtable today in Apple Valley.