Chicago Tribune: Tim Frick: Raise Minimum Wage

Letter to the Editor By Tim Frick
Chicago Tribune, May 3, 2017

Your editorial “Stifling growth in Illinois: Next step, raise the minimum wage higher than every border state’s” assumes business owners are opposed to a higher wage floor. Well, I’m a business owner, and I believe raising Illinois’ minimum wage to $15 by 2022 is smart business and smart policy to jump-start our economy now and strengthen it for the long term.

Businesses create more jobs when customers have more money to spend. Workers at one business are customers at another. We can’t grow the economy by paying wages that workers can’t live on, then bemoan weak consumer demand.

Fair pay brings lower staff turnover, more productive workers and happier customers. The gradual phase-in will give businesses plenty of time to ramp up to that $15 an hour, and the increased consumer spending, lower turnover and other business benefits will offset increased labor costs. States that have raised their minimum wages have not experienced the doom and gloom predicted by opponents.

A strong wage floor is vital for strong consumer spending and a healthy economy and tax base. Businesses, communities and our state will benefit from raising the minimum wage.

— Tim Frick, owner, Mightybytes, Chicago

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