Small Businesses Show Support For Raising The Minimum Wage Stateside

Huffington Post

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

Small businesses support boosting minimum wage

The Hill

Cities and states around the country are considering raising their minimum wage levels, and one of the biggest sticking points in this debate has been the impact of a higher minimum wage on small businesses. Opponents of a higher wage argue that raising the minimum wage would harm small businesses. The reality, though, is that the majority of small businesses actually support a higher minimum wage. In fact, Small Business Majority just polled a random sample of small business owners around the country and found broad support for raising the minimum wage to $12 per hour.

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Small business not just another special-interest group

San Francisco Chronicle

Chronicle business columnist Thomas Lee should be embarrassed to have his name grace “Debunking the moral superiority of ‘small businesses’” — a column clearly written by someone who doesn’t understand small businesses. Our groups don’t always agree on policies affecting small businesses, but we do agree that small businesses are the foundation of our economy, and lumping them into one narrow, ideological box buys into a long-standing myth that many in the political sphere would have everyone believe.

The unfortunate truth is that lawmakers often advance policies that favor large corporations over Main Street. And here’s where Lee missed the boat: the good reputation of small-business owners is often hijacked by these very lawmakers to justify policies that have no benefit to, and in some cases harm, America’s entrepreneurs.

Small businesses are politically, socially and economically diverse. While they want to be heard on the issues that are important to them, they are hardly monolithic in their views. Lee buys in to the false notion that small-business owners are lockstep in their support of policies — a view unscrupulous lawmakers and lobbyists have spent a long time trying to foster.

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Small Business Support for Raising the Wage Picking up Steam State-side

Huffington Post

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

The Small Business Take on Minimum Wage

Huffington Post

Small businesses are oft-times at the center of political debates — whether they’re knockdown drag-out fights, amicable conversations or something in between. One of the reasons small businesses are central to so many issues and why politicians curry their favor is because of how integral they are to our economy.

Small businesses represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms in this country. They pay nearly half of the U.S. private sector payroll and have created two out of every three net new jobs over the past couple decades.

Put simply, small businesses are our economy. Given that it’s still recovering, the economy needs all the help it can get to make it over the proverbial hump and flourish. Small businesses will play a key part in that journey.

Given their importance, politicians should stand up and take notice when small business owners say they strongly support a policy that has and will continue to elicit political fights of the knockdown drag-out variety, such as increasing the minimum wage. The minimum wage is a business issue that impacts a wide swath of small firms, and according to scientific opinion polling Small Business Majority released this week, two-thirds of them support increasing it and adjusting it annually to keep up with the cost of inflation.

Some have claimed that raising the minimum wage would put small firms out of business because they won’t be able to afford to pay their workers more. Our polling found a whopping 85 percent of small businesses across the country already pay their workers more than the minimum wage, though.

“You need to pay workers enough to survive. It’s in your best interest as a company because if you don’t there is nothing tying them to you.” That’s Clifton Broumand, the president of Man and Machine, a specialty computer product business in Landover, Md., who pays his workers more than the minimum wage and supports increasing it. “I want my employees to have the chance to grow and improve here. I want them to want to stay so we don’t have a lot of turnover. And I pay over minimum wage because it’s the right thing to do.”

A minimum wage worker currently brings in just over $15,000 a year, which is significantly lower than it was in the ‘60s. Two-thirds of small businesses polled agree with Clifton Broumand that it’s just not right.

Moral issues and the ability to attract and retain quality employees aside, there’s another reason small businesses support increasing the minimum wage: consumer demand. Putting more money into workers’ pockets doesn’t just benefit the worker; it benefits the business community and our economy, as well. Two-thirds of small business owners agree increasing the minimum wage would make low-income consumers more likely to spend money, driving up demand for small firms’ products. Another 65 percent agree increasing the minimum wage would help decrease pressure on taxpayer-financed government assistance programs that are needed to supplement low wages.

As I mentioned above, this issue has been and will continue to be a political hot potato. Given politicians’ proclivity to bring small businesses into the fray, many lawmakers will likely be invoking our job creators when they discuss this issue. And given the environment in Washington, the debate will likely split along partisan lines. That’s why the political breakdown of Small Business Majority’s polling is so important to note. Of those polled, 46 percent identified as Republican, 35 percent as Democrat and 11 percent as independent.

This shows small businesses don’t make decisions based on politics. They make decisions based on what’s right for their business, what’s right for their communities and what’s right for our economy.

Politicians should follow their lead.