Nearly 400 signers include • Costco • Greater New York Chamber of Commerce • Eileen Fisher • ABC Home • BALCONY • Buffalo First! • ReThink Local (Hudson Valley) • American Sustainable Business Council • Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York • Uncommon Goods • Spectronics Corporation and many more
We, the undersigned business owners and executives, support proposals to raise New York’s inadequate minimum wage to benefit business, workers and our economy. With the Governor and leaders in both houses of the Legislature in favor of raising the wage, and the public strongly in support, now is the time for action to strengthen New York’s 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 19 states – including neighboring Connecticut, Massachusetts 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. And nothing drives business job creation more than consumer demand. Increasing minimum wage also 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 significant 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 slow New York’s recovery. 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 $10.70 if it had kept up with the cost of living since 1970. With 80 percent of New Yorkers supporting a raise, a minimum wage increase is long overdue.
As business owners and executives, we support increasing New York’s minimum wage to at least $8.75 an hour. And to make that increase enduring, we support indexing the minimum wage to inflation each year after that as ten other states have done, or making additional increases in future years.
* Research and other resources are posted here
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