Baltimore, March 1, 2017 — Local business owners will testify today in support of gradually raising Baltimore’s minimum wage to $15 at a public hearing held by the Baltimore City Council. The proposed legislation would gradually increase Baltimore’s minimum wage to $15 by July 1, 2022 for businesses with more than 50 employees, and to $15 by 2026 for businesses with fewer than 50 workers.
Owners of local companies—from restaurants and food manufacturing to bike shops—say that raising the minimum wage will boost businesses, neighborhoods and the economy as workers have more money to spend throughout Baltimore. They also stress that businesses will benefit from lower employee turnover and increased productivity and customer satisfaction.
Andrew Buerger, Owner, B’More Organic: “Baltimore needs a raise. People know you don’t value them when you pay them and treat them poorly. When you invest in your employees, they invest in your business. We can’t say we’re going to improve Baltimore and then pay people too little to live on. Low wages depress consumer demand and businesses and the community suffer as a result. No one working full-time should live in poverty.”
Josh Keogh, Co-Owner, Baltimore Bicycle Works: “We know from experience that paying a fair wage has been a great investment for us. In this day and age, when just about anything is available online, we depend on excellent customer service to get people in the door, keep them coming back, and tell their friends and family about us. Gradually raising the minimum wage to $15 will give customers more money to spend at local businesses like ours and that will be good for our economy and our city.”
Penny Troutner, Owner, Light Street Cycles: “Raising the minimum wage is vital for revitalizing Baltimore. Too many people have too little purchasing power. Workers and their families need more income and less financial stress. Businesses need customers with money to spend. Raising the minimum wage is an investment that will help our businesses and neighborhoods thrive and reverse the rising inequality that is driving us apart.”
In addition to the above members of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage testifying today, these business leaders also commented in support of raising the city’s minimum to $15:
Kevin Blodger, Union Craft Brewing: “Raising Baltimore's minimum wage would give people more income to spend at our business and others. We currently pay our workers above minimum wage and benefit from lower turnover, happier and more productive employees, and in turn, happy customers who come back again and again. By paying more we actually lower our costs overall and boost our bottom line. It's a win-win.”
Shawn Lagergren, Owner, Tooloulou restaurant: “For Baltimore to thrive, people working full-time have to earn wages they can live on. If they don’t, our economy, our businesses and our people won’t flourish. Raising the minimum wage will put more money into customers’ pockets, helping us grow our businesses, build our economy and revitalize neighborhoods. I strongly support gradually raising Baltimore’s minimum wage to $15.”
Alissa Barron-Menza, Vice President, Business for a Fair Minimum Wage: “Phasing in a $15 minimum wage will boost consumer spending, foster a more stable, productive workforce and level the playing field for local businesses that already pay higher wages. Businesses will see cost savings from lower employee turnover and benefit from increased productivity, product quality and customer satisfaction. Baltimore’s business community, its economy and its people will benefit from raising the wage floor.”
Business leaders are available for comment and/or broadcast bookings. To schedule an interview, contact Erin Musgrave at email@example.com, 530-864-7014 or Bob Keener, 617-610-6766, firstname.lastname@example.org
Business for a Fair Minimum Wage is a national network of business owners and executives and business organizations that believe a fair minimum wage makes good business sense.
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