Minnesota is known for its “Minnesota Nice” residents. But it isn’t always the citizens that are nice, sometimes it’s the businesses, or more accurately the business owners. Jon Tevlin (@jontevlin) with the Star Tribune had the opportunity to highlight a few of these “Minnesota Nice” businesses.
Last month Mr. Tevlin wrote about Bob Sullivan, a Wendy’s franchise owner in Duluth whose restaurant had a fire causing the restaurant to close while under construction. Mr. Sullivan is not only committed to rebuilding the restaurant, he is also committed to his employees. He told the employees they will continue to be paid while the restaurant was being rebuilt. Is he legally obligated to do this? No. So, why is he? Because he said, “[r]eplacing good people is hard to do.”
Mr. Sullivan isn’t the first Minnesota business owner to make headlines for doing a good thing for his employees. In December 2013, the owners of Punch Pizza made local and national news for voluntarily raising new employee wages to $10/hour. It even got mentioned in President Obama’s State of the Union address In 2012, a Bemidji grocery store owner retired and left his business to his employees, versus selling to a chain store.
None of these business owners were required by law to perform these acts of kindness. They realized their biggest asset is their workforce, and when you have good employees, you want to keep them happy. So often we only hear news about businesses with problem employees, it is a nice change of pace to hear a story about a business that is going the extra mile.