From the business community's perspective, the best thing about the 2022 elections might be that they're over.

I don't just mean because now we don't have to suffer through the nasty TV ads. It's also that pre-election uncertainty slows decisionmaking and business growth. Now that companies large and small know who will be setting the direction in St. Paul, we can get to work charting a course and bringing our expertise to the conversation.

Conventional wisdom is that the business community has traditionally aligned with policies espoused by Republicans. But nurturing and growing the state's economy isn't a partisan issue. Both sides of the aisle have to work together to ensure Minnesota businesses and families get through the likely economic slowdown ahead with as little pain as possible and position our state for success on the other side.

My message is this: Businesses don't need to fear all-DFL state government.

The Minneapolis Regional Chamber and our members have worked closely with Gov. Tim Walz, Department of Employment and Economic Development Commissioner Steve Grove and the entire Walz administration over the past four years. We've found them to be responsive and attentive, even when we disagree.

Their track record of success is strong. Minnesota recently posted the lowest unemployment rate of any state in U.S. history. We have one of the top labor force participation rates in the country. Our job growth outpaced the U.S. this year. And since the pandemic began, the number of new small-business starts in Minnesota has grown 41%.

The CEOs and business leaders I'm talking to every day are optimistic about our ability to have success at the State Capitol in the coming year.

For starters, there should be no risk of a state government shutdown. While divided government has its benefits, the missed end of session deadlines and constant fear of blowing past the end of the fiscal year without a state budget isn't one of them. Everyone should feel good about planning a July 4th vacation this year, without fear of state parks being closed.

Additionally, we believe there's room for bipartisan support on critical issues that will lead to more prosperity in the Minneapolis-St. Paul region and across the state. That includes addressing rising costs for businesses and families, developing and educating our workforce, ensuring we have housing that is affordable, and investing in infrastructure that will fuel growth, including transportation and transit.

With a state budget surplus that some are predicting could be more than $10 billion, we'll have an exceptional opportunity to return money to Minnesota families, while also making targeted one-time investments that will help grow our economy — putting more money into people's bank accounts for the long run. That big surplus should also temper the desire of some Democrats to raise taxes, which would be a bad idea as companies and families deal with unprecedented levels of inflation and economists predict a recession in the first half of 2023.

The Legislature should also take up the unfinished work of the 2022 session and pass a significant bonding bill. Improvements to our state's roads, bridges and transit infrastructure and other public needs such as buildings and renovations at higher education campuses will pay dividends in the future. We should also look to access federal matching funds from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

Although Democrats now have unified control of the Legislature and governor's office, they achieved it by flipping just one seat in the Minnesota Senate. While better for Democrats than expected, the election was largely a message to stay the course and work together. Our business members want to see across-the-aisle cooperation, even with one party in charge. And with slim majorities in the Minnesota House and Senate, concentrating on issues with broad support seems like a good strategy.

Experts say there could be tough economic times ahead. That's all the more reason for business leaders to step up and work with DFLers who are calling the shots in St. Paul. To accomplish the things that will keep Minnesota strong, the public and private sectors need to row in the same direction. I'm confident we can do that in 2023.

Jonathan Weinhagen is president and CEO of the Minneapolis Regional Chamber. On Twitter at @jweinhagen and @MplsChamber.