Minnesota business owners are optimistic about growth

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Minnesota business owners are generally optimistic about the future when it comes to the economy.

A study recently conducted by BMO Harris Bank has found that more than 90 percent of Minnesota business owners think both Minnesota's economy will improve and their company will grow in 2014.

Minnesota Business Magazine reports that compares to about 53 percent of American business owners who think their business will grow in the coming year.

"Businesses in Minnesota have a lot of reasons to be positive," said Minnesota region president of BMO Harris Bank, Todd Senger. "While we haven't been immune to the struggling economy over the past few years, we've recently enjoyed a relatively healthy job market and moderate growth."

Survey respondents listed the cost of living, lower taxes, talent pool, home-town feel, friendliness and good business as factors for some of the biggest advantages to doing business in Minnesota.

As a whole, the Midwest has fared much better than the nation has from the economic recovery.

Economic growth continued last year, but only 54 of more than 3,000 counties reported the same level of unemployment they had prior to the recession. Most of those counties were located in the midwest.

The unemployment rate in Minnesota dipped to 4.6 percent in November, well below nation's rate. The December data has not yet been released.

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31 percent of Minnesota business owners and managers surveyed by the state chamber of commerce and a public relations firm see the state's economy improving. That's up from just 13 percent in last year's Business Barometer survey. As for what obstacles they face, high taxes was the most common concern followed by health care costs and finding qualified workers.