Business Owners Across Missouri Applaud Passage of Prop B to Raise Minimum Wage

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

More than 700 business owners in Missouri Business for a Fair Minimum Wage coalition supporting Proposition B, the initiative to raise Missouri’s minimum wage

Nov. 6, 2018 —Missouri business owners celebrated tonight’s passage of Proposition B, the ballot initiative that will raise the minimum wage to $12 by 2023, because it will be good for businesses and the state economy.

More than 700 business owners across the state signed Missouri Business for a Fair Minimum Wage’s statement supporting raising the minimum wage from $7.85 an hour to $8.60 next year, and then increasing it gradually each year until it reaches $12 an hour in 2023. From Kansas City, St. Louis, Columbia and Springfield to St. Joseph, Joplin, Sedalia, Hannibal, Cape Girardeau, St. Charles, and elsewhere around Missouri, businesses have backed raising the minimum wage and posted “This Business Supports Prop B” signs in their businesses.

“The passage of Prop B raising Missouri’s minimum wage is a big win for Missouri businesses, local communities and the entire state economy,” said Missouri Business for a Fair Minimum Wage Campaign Manager Lew Prince. “Raising the minimum wage to $12 by 2023 will give more than 677,000 Missourians a raise – putting over $1 billion into the hands of customers. The gradual raise will give low-paying businesses time to adjust and experience benefits such as increased consumer spending, cost savings from lower employee turnover, increased productivity, and more satisfied customers.”

Numerous business leaders in Missouri Business for a Fair Minimum Wage are available for comment, including:

Maxine Clark, Founder and former chief executive of Build-A-Bear Workshop, in St. Louis, said: “As the founder and former chief executive of a business that has grown into a major national and global company, I know that happy employees make happy customers. Unfortunately, too many Missourians are earning too little – from the cashiers at the grocery store to the classroom aides helping educate our children to the people who care for our aging parents. Raising the minimum wage will demonstrate to working people that we value their work and it will help businesses succeed.”

Riad Matar, Owner of Riad's Restaurant in Springfield, said, “There’s no way you can keep your head above water earning the current minimum wage. My employees are happy and eager to show up and make decent money. And my business will go up when the minimum wage is raised.”

Bob Goodrich, President of Goodrich Quality Theaters including Capital 8 in Jefferson City and Forum 8 in Columbia, said, “We couldn’t have built our business without great employees. Missourians can’t make ends meet on the current minimum wage. Raising the minimum will be good for business and the economy.”

Jeff Owens, Managing Partner of The Bauer, in Kansas City said, “Bottom line, this should have been done a long time ago. The stronger the workforce, the stronger our small businesses will be. This increase in wages will be put right back into our economy, unlike some of the tax breaks for big business.”

Dewana Koehler, Owner of The Blackbird Bar & Grill in Aurora, said, “Raising the minimum wage is a no brainer. All of my people make above the minimum wage and stick with us. If you take care of your people, they care what happens at your business.”

Gabriele Ruggieri, Owner of Gabriel’s Food + Wine in Cape Girardeau, said, “If people don’t have enough money to go out to eat every now and then, it doesn’t matter how tasty my food is. Raising Missouri’s minimum wage will have a ripple effect that all businesses will benefit from.”

David Elman, Owner of Fretboard Coffee in Columbia, said, “Paying fair wages means our employees stay with us, and having long-term employees with a real connection to our business means they are more willing to contribute to improving the overall value of our offerings. And that has certainly improved our bottom line.”

Andrew Montee, Owner of Mokaska Coffee Company in St. Joseph, said, “A higher minimum wage will inject more spending money into the economy. That helps everybody.”

Julie Thompson, Co-Owner and Director of Operations of Brewery Emperial in Kansas City said, “We not only support Prop B, but have been proactively implementing increased pay for our staff, and have seen the benefits. We’ve already seen decreased turnover and had an easier time hiring. And our staff deliver exceptional service to guests.”

Laurie Knowlton, Owner of Pickwick Underground Framing and Zen3 Spa and Bodyworks in Springfield, said, “Raising the minimum wage will increase employee morale, retention and productivity. And when the staff is more stable, it builds trust, and helps businesses maintain a positive reputation. With a higher minimum wage, workers will earn more and spend more – creating more cash flow for local businesses and communities.”

Sean Flanagan, Owner of The Bruncheonette in Joplin, said, “We treat our employees well and they treat our customers well. It’s a win-win for business success. Raising the minimum wage will mean more people have money to spend at small businesses across Missouri.”

Missouri business owners across the state who supported raising the minimum wage are available for comment.

To speak with these business owners or others who support raising the minimum wage, please contact Erin Musgrave at erin@emcstrategies.com or (530) 864-7014, or Bob Keener at bob@businessforafairminimumwage.org or 617-610-6766.

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Missouri Business for a Fair Minimum Wage is the state affiliate of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, a national network of business owners and executives that believe a fair minimum wage makes good business sense.

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