Something significant happened on Election Day that had nothing to do with the presidential race: Four states quietly voted to raise their minimum wage.
In what is fast becoming a national trend, a majority of citizens in Colorado, Maine, Arizona and Washington voted in favor of a gradual minimum wage increase until 2020; after that, the wage will be modified in accordance with the cost of living.
And it seems good things come in fours. In 2014, a quartet of states (Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska and South Dakota) also voted to increase their minimum wage. Continue reading →
Despite growing support for raising the minimum wage, Congress has yet to even vote on legislation that would raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 and index it to the cost of living. As a result, many states are taking matters into their own hands. In fact, a whopping 34 states considered increases to their state’s minimum wage during 2014 legislative sessions. What’s more, 11 states and D.C.–Connecticut, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota and West Virginia to name a few–have all enacted minimum wage increases this year. If you believe the hype surrounding raising the wage, this should put small businesses in these states out of business, right? Wrong. Continue reading →
By: John Arensmeyer, CEO of Small Business Majority and Christine Owens, Executive Director of the National Employment Law Project
Debate about raising the minimum wage is a hot topic, and the impact to small businesses is a sticking point in the argument. But what do real small businesses think about raising the wage? Small Business Majority polled a random sample of small businesses from across the country and found 57 percent of entrepreneurs support increasing the federal minimum wage to $10.10 and indexing it to the cost of living. Continue reading →
Every year around this time, we think about what the year ahead might bring and how we can make it better than the last. To make 2014 a success, we must find ways to bolster our still-recovering economy. Supporting the middle class is one way to do that. A recent study indicates income inequality is at the highest it’s been in 100 years, with the top 10 percent of earners taking more than half the country’s total income in 2012. In order to close this immense income gap and strengthen our economy, America needs smart policies that will help grow the middle class, and small businesses need to be top-of-mind when crafting these plans.
Entrepreneurs know firsthand how vital the middle class is to our economic recovery. Their primary customer base is made up of middle class individuals and the vast majority of small employers themselves are middle class. In fact, Small Business Majority’s recent polling found only 5 percent of small business owners reported earning more than $250,000 a year, and research conducted by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation reveals that seven in 10 entrepreneurs come from a middle class background. Continue reading →