Quotable Quotes

SEE PRESS RELEASES FOR NEWER QUOTES - Will update below soon

“A higher minimum wage makes good long term business sense. We already pay well above the current Maryland minimum wage because it’s right for our business and our people. It helps increase employee retention and productivity, which gives us a dedicated workforce that helps our business prosper. An increased minimum wage would not hurt small businesses. Rather, increasing the Maryland minimum wage will boost our regional economy by giving a much-needed raise to the many people most likely to spend it at local small businesses. - John Shepley, Co-Owner of Emory Knoll Farms Inc., Maryland

"It is but equity...that they who feed, clothe and lodge the whole body of the people, should have such a share of the produce of their own labor as to be themselves tolerably well fed, clothed and lodged."-Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations, 1776

"A minimum wage increase makes straightforward economic sense. It means more money in the hands of people who are going to spend it. Low minimum wages do NOT help small business. Small business owners know that keeping workers is easier and cheaper than finding and training new workers. And small business owners know that the longer an employee stays with you -- the more they know about your business and your customers, and the higher their productivity." -Lew Prince, Managing Partner, Vintage Vinyl, St. Louis, MO

"Solutions that depend on driving down costs by reducing wages and social benefits -- in advanced countries or in emerging economies -- are always dead ends… Strategies based on exploiting low-wage labor end up in competitive jungles, where victories are vanishingly thin and each day brings a new competitor… The activities that succeed over time are, in contrast, those that build on continuous learning and innovation."-Suzanne Berger, How We Compete: What Companies Around the World Are Doing To Make It in Today’s Global Economy (based on MIT Industrial Performance Center study of more than 500 companies)

"Overall most low-wage workers pump every dollar of their paychecks directly into the local economy by spending their money in their neighborhood stores, local pharmacies and corner markets."-Dan Gardner, then Commissioner, Labor and Industries for Oregon, which has the second-highest state minimum wage

"We all lose when American workers are underpaid. It's a myth that small businesses can't pay a higher minimum wage, as proven already in the states that have raised theirs. When businesses don't pay a living wage all society pays. We pay through poverty and needless disease, disability and death from inadequate health care. We pay as women struggle to put food on the table. We pay as businesses and communities suffer economic decline."-Margot Dorfman, CEO, U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce

Quotes in Support of Last Federal Minimum Wage Increase

"Paying your employees well is not only the right thing to do but it makes for good business." -Jim Sinegal, CEO, Costco

"As a small business owner who has always paid well above the minimum wage, it has been my experience that paying living wages makes good business sense. It is good for business, workers and the community." -Gary Theilen, Owner, Theilen Farm and Cattle, Enid, OK

"In Georgia, one of the reddest of the 'Red States,' one might expect an almost universal denouncement of the raise in the minimum wage. In fact, the opposite is true. Business owners and managers I've spoken with aren't concerned. They're glad the wage is going up because workers deserve it, and they believe it will help our local economy."-Lya Sorano, Founder, Atlanta Women in Business

"The increase in the minimum wage is long overdue, yet even the increased rate of $7.25 is an insult to workers and employers. Yes, small business owners must spend wisely, but this means paying our workforce a fair wage if we expect quality work. I want the federal government to recognize hard work and raise the minimum wage so everyone who works can support themselves and their families." -Amy Ventura, Co-President, Storm Graphic Arts, the 2006 Business of the Year, Prince William Regional Chamber of Commerce, Virginia

"Raising the minimum wage is the right thing to do, and not just because it's the fair thing to do. Raising the minimum wage is good for small business, the backbone of the American economy. In states with minimum wages higher than the federal minimum, the number of small businesses and the number of small business employees grew more than other states." -Steve Fernlund, founder and president, Generation Three Logistics, Las Vegas, NV

"As a business owner, I believe we need to pay higher wages so that people can support their families. In Kansas, we have the lowest state minimum wage in the country, $2.65 an hour. With the cost of living constantly going up, even making ends meet at the new $5.85 federal minimum will be a struggle. How do we expect people to survive?" -Helen Norman, Co-Owner, Garnett Dairy Queen, Kansas

"Investing in employees is the single most important investment that a company can make." -Brian Smith, Managing Partner, Blackfoot River Brewing Company, Helena, MT

"I have owned and managed two businesses for the past 20 years and I have never paid anyone the minimum wage. My businesses have not suffered from that. In fact, my businesses have benefited from employees who have been paid more fairly. I cannot imagine, in 2007, looking someone in the eye and paying them just $5.15 for an hour of their labor -- or $41.20 for a whole day." -Debi Starnes, Innkeeper, Sugar Magnolia Bed & Breakfast, Atlanta, GA

"It is a sound business decision to increase the minimum wage. It increases sales. It increases employment. I have found that without exception in the successful ventures we've backed, providing sustainable living wages yielded direct increases in productivity, job satisfaction and brand loyalty from customers, all contributing to higher returns for investors and employers." -Adnan Durrani, President, Condor Ventures; Venture Partner, Blue Chip Venture Capital

"I know firsthand how raising entry-level wages is good for business as well as workers. The White Dog Cafe pays a minimum of $9 an hour within three months, plus health and retirement benefits. With higher pay and benefits and therefore lower turnover, the staff is more experienced and committed to their work, which is key to the restaurant's success. Today's minimum wage shortchanges workers and undermines the long-term health of businesses, communities and the economy." -Judy Wicks, Owner, White Dog Café, Philadelphia, PA

"Nothing is more important to providing high-quality patient and resident-centered care than making sure our caregivers are paid a fair wage." -Edward Kuntz, Executive Chairman of the Board, Kindred Healthcare Inc.

"In my business, we know people work hard, and we want to pay people enough to keep them. The minimum wage is about respecting the dignity of working people and paying people a decent wage. Raising the minimum wage to $7.25 would only be a start." -Stephen Zorn, Managing Partner, Castle Village Farm, Florida and New York

"We're overdue for a minimum-wage increase. It's a sign of respect for our employees and the work they do for us as business owners." -Shalon Hastings, Co-Owner, Taco del Sol, Helena, MT

"As an owner of a large bed & breakfast inn for ten years, I paid above minimum wage because it was good for my business and it was good for my employees. Housekeepers earned every penny of the $10 to $12 per hour they were paid during 1996-2005. We also provided them with health insurance. Paying workers above $5.15 an hour makes sense in any business -- the money spent filters down and gets circulated back into the economy." -Rose Marie Ray, Owner, Pamian Inc.; Innkeeper (ret), Seminole, FL

"Paying people a fair wage is a sign of respect and acknowledgement of the value of people's contributions to the business. When people are treated fairly and with respect, they will provide unparalleled levels of support and commitment inside the business, and to clients and customers. Everyone is more successful when people are paid a living wage." -Amy Lyman, Co-Founder and Chair of Board of Directors, Great Place to Work Institute, a global research and management consultancy