Statement by Lew Prince, Senate Press Conference With Sen. Edward Kennedy, Sen. Sherrod Brown, Rep. George Miller

1/19/07

People who tell you that raising the minimum wage will hurt small business are flat out full of it. Low minimum wages do NOT help small business.

I run a small business. It's in one of the toughest industries in America. Since the year 2000, nearly HALF the music retailers in the U.S. have closed their doors. Many who failed were chains paying minimum wage.

Small business owners know that keeping workers is easier and cheaper than finding and training new ones. You get lower recruiting costs. You get lower training costs. You get decreased absenteeism and higher worker morale.

Our long-term employees are way more likely to establish ongoing relationships with customers. And every small business owner knows that the longer an employee stays with you -- the more they know about your business and your customers, and the higher their productivity.

I want to remind small business owners that the people who are against raising the minimum wage are also the people who want to amend this bill. They're trying to add a bunch of pork and so-called tax breaks for the big businesses that are trying to gobble up our customers.

Neighborhood retailers, local restaurants and small manufacturers need only look at our customers to know what's best for us. We know how many of the people who come through our doors earn minimum wage. Why wouldn't we want to put another $300 bucks a month in their pockets?