Springfield News Leader: Charlie O'Reilly: Raise Missouri's minimum wage to boost businesses

Op-Ed By Business Owner Charlie O'Reilly
Springfield News-Leader, August 19. 2018

This November, Missourians will have the opportunity to vote “Yes” on Proposition B to raise the minimum wage in our state. This initiative is very reasonable and conservative by raising the minimum wage 85 cents a year over five years, which would make the minimum wage $12 per hour in 2023. The sad truth is the cost of basic necessities have gone up for years, yet Missourians working 40 hours a week at the state minimum wage of $7.85 earn only $314 per week, or just over $16,000 per year.

When people have only this small amount of income to spend, it also means businesses in our state don't have as much income. If people earn less, they spend less. They delay repairing their car, they don't go out to eat, they buy less clothing, etc. If people have more, they spend more and businesses make more and also are able to hire more help.

In fact, one study found that the number of small businesses and people working in small businesses increased more in states with higher minimum wages than in states with wages set at the lower federal minimum.

That's why nearly 350 businesses from across Missouri have already endorsed the initiative to increase that state's minimum wage gradually to $12. ...

It will provide a major boost for small businesses because this growth in buying power will be among those most likely to spend this money with small businesses in their communities: low wage working families.

Workers — including retail clerks, classroom aides, home health care workers, custodians and other hardworking people — with increased income are also more loyal employees who stay with their employer for longer periods of time, meaning businesses won't have to spend additional money to recruit, hire and train new employees. ...

This November, please join me in voting “Yes” on Proposition B to raise Missouri's minimum wage and not only help the hardworking citizens of our state, but also provide a boost to businesses.

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Copyright 2018 Charlie O'Reilly


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