19 States Set to Hike Minimum Wage, Businesses Anticipate Increased Sales and Productivity

Contact: Conan Knoll, 831-524-6764, conan@emcstrategies.com 

Business leaders available to speak about why they support minimum wage raises in advance of 19 state increases happening around the country on Dec. 31 and Jan. 1

Dec. 20, 2018 – Nineteen states will ring in the new year with higher minimum wages thanks to various ballot measures, legislation and annual cost-of-living adjustments. Business owners across the country say these increases will boost consumer spending, reduce costly employee turnover, increase productivity and customer satisfaction, and help the economy.

“Raising the minimum wage puts money in the pockets of workers who most need to spend it – boosting our economy from the bottom up,” said Holly Sklar, CEO of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage. “It leads to more spending at every level, from basic purchases of food, diapers and school supplies, to rent and car repairs, to the occasional meal out with the family. Minimum wage increases also pay off for businesses in lower employee turnover, reduced hiring and training costs, lower error rates, increased productivity and better customer service.”

Business leaders supportive of minimum wage increases, including the Business for a Fair Minimum Wage members below and others around the country, are available for interviews.

Capi Peck, Owner of Trio’s Restaurant in Little Rock, AR: “I’ve seen firsthand how paying fair wages has been good for my business. Our low turnover is invaluable when it comes to our customer service and our bottom line. I’m looking forward to seeing the larger beneficial effects for Arkansas as increasing the minimum wage gives needed raises to workers who will then have more to spend as customers at businesses in their communities.”

Michael Kanter, Co-Owner of Cambridge Naturals, a 2018 Forbes Small Business Giant winner with stores in Cambridge and Boston, MA: “Raising the minimum wage makes good business sense. Retail does not exist without customers who have money to spend and a willingness to spend it at your business. Paying fair wages yields better customer service, which in turn drives success. Employees often make the difference between a repeat customer and a lost customer.”

Bob Goodrich, President of Goodrich Quality Theaters including Capital 8 in Jefferson City and Forum 8 in Columbia, MO: “A lot has changed in the 50 years that I've been growing my circuit of theaters. But one thing that has not changed enough is the Missouri minimum wage. It is essential that workers have adequate wages to spend on basics like groceries, rent, cell phones – and the occasional meal out or ticket to the movies.”

Judy Clinco, Founder and CEO of Catalina Home Services in Tucson, AZ: “Minimum wage increases have been good for Arizona workers and businesses. I know from long-time experience that paying a decent wage cuts down on costly turnover and improves the lives of our employees and our clients. For Catalina In-Home Services, the increase has had the benefit of boosting employee retention and, most importantly, improving the economic stability of our workforce. All Arizonans deserve a fair wage, whether they work for me, other home care providers or any other business.”

Keith Mestrich, President and CEO of Amalgamated Bank, New York: “Raising the minimum wage empowers workers to spend at local businesses, bringing new money into local economies and reducing the strain that low wages place on public assistance programs. Amalgamated became the first major financial institution to increase starting wages to $15 in 2015. We’ve seen the impact that raising wages has had on employee morale and dedication and in the support from our customers, who appreciate our commitment to ensuring everyone has a chance to succeed.”

Maxine Clark, Founder and former chief executive of Build-A-Bear Workshop, in St. Louis, MO: “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.”

Ron Rivers, Founder and CEO of Love2Brew in North Brunswick, NJ: “We are glad to see New Jersey’s minimum wage going up by 25 cents on New Year’s Day because every little bit helps. But history shows us passing a minimum wage raise to $15 per hour without carve outs is the best way to boost businesses and our consumer-driven economy. Our employees make at least $15 an hour and they reward us with a willingness to go the extra mile for every customer we serve. The economic stability provided to workers from a living wage translates into higher retention and improved customer service.”

Kelly Vlahakis-Hanks, President and CEO of Earth Friendly Products, CA, IL, NJ and WA state: “For over 50 years, our family-owned business has invested in America, creating good jobs in California, Illinois, New Jersey and Washington state. We start employees at $17 an hour and provide great benefits while widely selling our ECOS® green cleaning products at competitive prices. Investing in our employees has improved our productivity, our employee retention, our customer satisfaction and our ability to innovate and grow.” 

Yoav Lurie, Founder & CEO of Simple Energy in Boulder, CO: “A fair wage for a hard day’s work is common sense. No one working fulltime should be living in poverty. Higher wages mean customers have more money in their pocket to spend in our businesses, creating a stronger economy. And fair wages drive better business results. That’s why so many business owners support increasing the minimum wage.”

Business owners in states raising their minimum wage are available for comment through the new year.

Here is a list of scheduled increases for Dec. 31, 2018 and Jan. 1, 2019:

  • Arizona increases to $11 on Jan. 1, 2019 and $12 in 2020 and is indexed for annual cost of living increases starting in 2021
  • Arkansas increases to $9.25 on Jan. 1, 2019, $10 in 2020 and $11 in 2021
  • California increases to $12 on Jan. 1, 2019, $13 in 2020, $14 in 2021 and $15 in 2022. Small businesses with 25 employees or fewer will have an extra year to comply, reaching $15 in 2023. After the minimum wage reaches $15 for all employees, it will be indexed for annual cost of living increases.
  • Colorado increases to $11.10 on Jan. 1, 2019, $12 in 2020 and indexed starting in 2021
  • Maine increases to $11 on Jan. 1, 2019, $12 in 2020 and indexed starting in 2021
  • Massachusetts increases to $12 on Jan. 1, 2019, with future increases of 75 cents a year to reach $15 in 2023
  • Michigan increases to $9.45 on Jan. 1, 2019 and $9.65 in 2020, with future small increases until it reaches $12.05 in 2030, “or a subsequent calendar year”
  • Missouri increases to $8.60 on Jan. 1, 2019, with future increases of 85 cents a year to reach $12 in 2023
  • New York
    • New York City increases to $15 on Dec. 31, 2018 for businesses with 11 or more employees. It increases to $13.50 on Dec. 31, 2018 and $15 on Dec. 31, 2019 for businesses with 10 employees or fewer.
    • Long Island and Westchester increase to $12 on Dec. 31, 2018, with future increases to $13 on Dec. 31, 2019, $14 in 2020 and $15 in 2021.
    • The rest of New York State increases to $11.10 on Dec. 31, 2018, $11.80 on Dec. 31, 2019 and $12.50 on Dec. 31, 2020. Annual increases starting in 2021 will bring the rest of New York to $15 on a schedule to be determined based on cost of living and other indices.
  • Rhode Island increases to $10.50 on Jan. 1, 2019
  • Washington state increases to $12 on Jan. 1, 2019, $13.50 in 2020 and indexed for annual cost of living increases starting in 2021

States with Indexing where annual Cost of Living Adjustments will take effect Jan. 1, 2019 include:

  • Alaska increases to $9.89
  • Florida increases to $8.46
  • Minnesota increases to $9.86 for employers with an annual gross revenue of $500,000 or more and $8.04 for employers with less than $500,000
  • Montana increases to $8.50
  • New Jersey increases to $8.85
  • Ohio increases to $8.55
  • South Dakota increases to $9.10
  • Vermont increases to $10.78

Looking ahead, currently Oregon and the District of Columbia (DC) have increases scheduled for July 1, 2019, Nevada’s annual cost of living adjustments go into effect July 1, and Delaware’s next increase is effective October 1, 2019.

The federal minimum wage has been stuck at $7.25 an hour since July 24, 2009.

To speak to business owners and executives supportive of raising the minimum wage, please contact Conan Knoll at conan@emcstrategies.com or 831-524-6764.

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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. www.businessforafairminimumwage.org

 

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