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CURRENT SIGNERS include • Aspen Skiing Company • Wetzel's Pretzels • Ranch Foods Direct • Ben & Jerry's • Mountain Sun Pubs & Breweries • Eileen Fisher • Polar Bottle • Ore House • Bingo Burger • Illegal Pete's Restaurants • Solar Roast Coffee • Gary's Auto Service • Poor Richard's Restaurant • Native Earth Landscape • Wallaroo Hat Company • El Rancherito • Teatulia • Appaloosa Grill • Shinesty • Color Me Mine • Namaste Solar • Zoe Ma Ma Restaurant • Organic India USA • Techstars • American Sustainable Business Council • UltraSteam • Simple Energy • Clothes Pony • Fire on the Mountain Buffalo Wings • See list with more than 300 SIGNERS  • Statement sponsored by Colorado Business for a Fair Minimum Wage.

As business owners and executives, we support gradually increasing Colorado’s minimum wage. It’s good for business, customers and our local economy. Today’s $8.31 minimum wage – just $17,285 a year for Coloradans working full time – actually has less purchasing power than minimum wage in the 1960s.

Raising Colorado’s minimum wage makes good business sense. Increased pay means increased consumer buying power – boosting sales at local businesses as Colorado workers buy products and services they could not afford to buy before. Low pay typically means high employee turnover. Businesses see cost savings in hiring and training and less product waste with lower turnover. Businesses also benefit from increased productivity, product quality and customer satisfaction.

Raising the minimum wage will strengthen the economy and reduce the strain on the social safety net caused by inadequate wages for working Coloradans. The most rigorous research on the impact of actual minimum wage increases shows they do not increase unemployment. In nationwide polling, the majority of small business owners support raising the minimum wage to $12 by 2020.

We support gradually increasing Colorado’s minimum wage, first to $9.30 on January 1, 2017 and then by 90 cents a year until it reaches $12 in January 2020, as proposed in a ballot initiative, and then adjusting it annually so the minimum wage keeps up with the cost of living rather than falling behind.