Top 10 reasons to be sweet on Minnesota's Small Businesses

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Small businesses are the heart of Minnesota's economy.

This Valentine's Day, the U.S. Small Business Administration's (SBA) Minnesota District is sending this valentine with its top 10 reasons to love small businesses.

Whether sharing the day with another or spending it honoring yourself, spread the sweetness by remembering to shop and dine small for unique Valentine's Day gifts, services and meal reservations.

Consider this about small businesses in Minnesota:

• They support their Main Streets. The 510,000 small businesses in Minnesota are in nearly every neighborhood in the state.

• They provide opportunities. Small businesses make up 99.5 percent of all Minnesota employers.

• They create jobs. Two out of every three new jobs created in the U.S. are from small businesses.

• They have unique items and services. Many small businesses craft their own products or feature those of other local entrepreneurs, such as artists, farmers and bakers, providing you a gift like no other for yourself or your special someone.

• They grow the global economy — 86.9 percent of Minnesota exporters are small firms.

• They change the world. SBA-assisted companies, such as 23andMe, Apple, Ben & Jerry's, Costco, Nike, Intel and Whole Foods, all started small and have led the way of new ideas across industries.

• They employ nearly half the workforce. Small businesses in Minnesota employed 1.2 million people in the state's private workforce in 2016.

• They support families. Approximately one in five small businesses are family-owned.

9. They create opportunities for flexible work and lifestyles. Home-based businesses account approximately half of all small businesses.

10. They inspire. Small business owners work countless hours, sacrifice their personal time and assets, improve their communities, drive innovation and follow their dreams.