MA Business Owners Applaud $15 Minimum Wage Being Signed Into Law Thursday; More than 300 Business Leaders Endorsed Massachusetts Business for a Fair Minimum Wage Statement Backing Increase to $15

Contact: Bob Keener, 617-610-6766, bob@businessforafairminimumwage.org
or Erin Musgrave, 530-864-7014, erin@emcstrategies.com

BOSTON, June 27, 2018 – Business owners across Massachusetts are voicing support for raising the state minimum wage to $15 an hour, which Gov. Charlie Baker is expected to sign into law Thursday. More than 300 business leaders endorsed the Massachusetts Business for a Fair Minimum Wage Statement advocating a $15 minimum wage and many testified at hearings and spoke at public events around the state in support.

Business supporters include 2018 Forbes Small Giant winner Cambridge Naturals and 2018 Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce Small Business CEO of the Year Megan Driscoll, Founder of PharmaLogics Recruiting. Representing a cross-section of industries, supporters include Allandale Farm, Basil Tree Catering & Café, Best Value Janitorial, Bon Me, Collective Home Care Inc, Doyle Sailmakers, Exodus Bagels, Fly By Night Furniture, Formaggio Kitchen, Good Clothing Company, Graffito SP, Hilltown Tree & Garden, Hollister Staffing, Irving House, Key Polymer Corporation, Lola Travel, Morse Constructions, The People’s Pint, Porter Square Books, Real Pickles, South Mountain Company, Trillium Asset Management, Valley Home Improvement, Wistia, Zoar Outdoor and hundreds more.

“Raising the minimum wage is a win-win for Massachusetts businesses and workers,” said Holly Sklar, CEO of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage. “Minimum wage increases will boost the consumer buying power that businesses depend on to thrive and create jobs. And with wages workers can live on, businesses will see lower employee turnover, increased productivity and happier customers. It’s great to see Massachusetts joining California, New York and Washington DC in raising the minimum wage to $15 and boosting our economy from the bottom up.”

The recently named 2018 Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce Small Business CEO of the Year Megan Driscoll, CEO and Founder of PharmaLogics Recruiting in Quincy, said, “Whether you are in recruiting, healthcare, retail or hospitality, your employees are your greatest assets. The current $11 minimum wage is not enough to live on. How can you expect your employees to perform at their best when they are under severe financial stress? Why should your employees have to rely on government assistance and private charity to avoid hunger and homelessness? That’s not fair to workers or other businesses. Raising the minimum wage to $15 is an investment in our people, businesses and economy.”

Michael Kanter, Co-Owner of Cambridge Naturals, a national 2018 Forbes Small Business Giant winner, which is opening a second store this summer at Boston Landing, said, “Raising the minimum wage will help create a business culture that motivates staff and keeps customers coming in your doors. Frontline employees often make the difference between repeat customers and lost customers. In December 2016, we raised our starting wage from $13 an hour to $15 with excellent results. I’m pleased that this bill doesn’t include a lower minimum wage for teenagers. Many teenagers are working to support themselves or help their families or saving money to go to college or working their way through college. This increase makes good sense for everyone.”

The bill will gradually raise the minimum wage from the current $11 an hour to $12 in 2019, $12.75 in 2020, $13.50 in 2021, $14.25 in 2022, and $15 in 2023. That will provide a raise to about 840,000 workers and a significant boost in consumer purchasing power.

Business owners from across Massachusetts made additional comments in support. These and other business leaders around the state are available for interviews.

Robert Baker, President of Key Polymer Corporation, a Lawrence manufacturer founded in 1959, said, “We are a strong believer in the contribution that a stable and committed workforce makes to the success of a company. Paying a living wage is both fair and good business. Raising the minimum wage makes good sense.”

“Products and services are only as good as the workers who create them,” said Janet Doyle, Owner of Doyle Sailmakers in Salem. “Paying a living wage is important for maintaining a good quality of life for our workforce, providing unparalleled customer service and supporting our local consumer economy. Paying fair wages has greatly benefited our bottom line and raising the minimum wage will greatly benefit Massachusetts.”

Michael Archbald, Owner of Collective Home Care, Inc. in West Hatfield, with about 100 employees serving Franklin and Hampshire counties, said, “The home health aides who work for us and other companies do hard work – sometimes grueling. They need our respect and a living wage. Raising the minimum wage to $15 will strengthen the Massachusetts workforce and economy and help us revitalize the ailing American Dream.”

Valerie Gurdal, Owner of Formaggio Kitchen in Boston and Cambridge, said, “Our employees are our most valuable asset. Our employees interact most closely with customers. We rely on their knowledge and dedication to survive and thrive. We know we are among many small business owners who support raising the minimum wage.”

“When people earn more, they spend more. Raising the minimum wage will spur a virtuous cycle of increased economic activity as consumer demand increases,” said Laura Fisher, Owner of Fisher Agencies, serving Eastern and Central Massachusetts with offices in Burlington and Mansfield. “Businesses will also benefit from lower employee turnover and increased morale and productivity. If you want happy customers, have happy employees. That’s how you grow a business long-term.”

The bill being signed into law will also create a Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program that was advocated by Raise Up Massachusetts, which had gathered signatures for paid leave and $15 minimum wage ballot measures.

Business leaders are available for comment and/or broadcast bookings. To schedule an interview, contact Bob Keener at bob@businessforafairminimumwage.org, (617) 610-6766 or Erin Musgrave, 530-864-7014, erin@emcstrategies.com.

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Business for a Fair Minimum Wage is a Boston-based national network of business owners and executives and business organizations that believe a fair minimum wage makes good business sense.

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