2012 Signers include Costco, Greater New York Chamber of Commerce, Eileen Fisher, HopStop, ABC Home, Buffalo First, Syracuse First, American Sustainable Business Council, BALCONY, National Latino Farmers & Ranchers Trade Association; Dal LaMagna, CEO, IceStone; David Bolotsky, CEO, Uncommon Goods; Melanie Beam, Director, WSG; Charles Wittman, President, Architectural Fiberglass Corp.; Martin Rothenberg, President, Glottal Enterprises; Nancy Norton, Owner, Stone Quarry House; many more. Click for full SIGNERS LIST.
We, the undersigned business owners and executives, support raising New York’s inadequate minimum wage to benefit business, workers and our economy. New York’s minimum wage of $7.25 an hour amounts to just $15,080 for full-time, year-round work. It is too low for health aides, cashiers, childcare workers, restaurant workers, security guards and other minimum wage workers to make ends meet. New York lags behind 18 states – including neighboring Connecticut and Vermont – that have raised their minimum wages above $7.25. With far less buying power than it had four decades ago, today’s minimum wage means poverty for working families and weakens the consumer demand at the heart of our economy.
A higher minimum wage makes good business sense. It puts money in the hands of New Yorkers who will put it right back into local businesses, buying needed goods and services. Research shows that minimum wage increases boost consumer spending substantially more than tax cuts do. And increasing minimum wage reduces the strain on our social safety net caused by inadequate wages.
Decent wages at the bottom benefit businesses beyond boosting consumer demand. Businesses see cost savings from lower employee turnover and reduced expenses associated with hiring and training new employees. Higher wages increase productivity and improve product quality, customer satisfaction and company reputation.
Raising the minimum wage will not increase unemployment. The first federal minimum wage was enacted during the Great Depression to lift wages to alleviate poverty and increase the consumer purchasing power needed for job creation and economic recovery. Minimum wage increases play the same role today. The most rigorous studies of the impact of actual minimum wage increases show they do not cause job loss – whether during periods of economic growth or during recessions.*
New York’s minimum wage would be over $10 if it had kept up with the cost of living since 1970. A minimum wage increase is overdue.
As business owners and executives, we support the proposed increase in New York’s minimum wage to $8.50 an hour – with inflation adjustment thereafter so that it does not fall further behind the cost of living. This makes good sense for our businesses, our workforce, our communities and our state.
* Research and other resources are posted here