Capitol Fax: Minimum wage react

Rich Miller, Capitol Fax, Feb 19, 2019

* Gov. JB Pritzker signed the $15 an hour minimum wage bill into law today. The react I’ve received so far is all from supporters. ...

* Business for a Fair Minimum Wage…

Illinois business owners say the new $15 minimum wage, signed into law today by Gov. J.B. Pritzker, will be good for business.

Business owners ranging from restaurant owners to manufacturers support raising the minimum wage because it will help businesses, communities and the economy as workers have more money to spend. What’s more, businesses will benefit from lower employee turnover and increased productivity and customer satisfaction.

The law will raise the minimum wage gradually to $15 by 2025, with the first increase from $8.25 to $9.25 going into effect on Jan. 1, 2020. The minimum wage will increase to $10 on July 1, 2020, followed by $1 increases on January 1 each year until it hits $15 in 2025. Illinois is joining New Jersey, California, New York, Massachusetts and Washington D.C. in phasing in a $15 minimum wage.

“Raising the minimum wage to $15 is pro-business,” said David Borris, Owner of Hel’s Kitchen Catering in Northbrook. “Local small businesses have a deeply personal interest in the financial health of the communities we do business in. The wellbeing of our customer base and our workforce shows in our bottom line. A healthy economy needs money circulating widely in a virtuous cycle of rising wages, consumer demand and job creation.”

Mark Forinash, Owner of Café Moxo and Café Moxo Too in Springfield, said, “We’ve paid more than the projected minimum wage for years now, and we’ve seen firsthand that when employees earn a living wage they value their job and it shows in their work. Customer service is more personal, employees are able to spend more time with family and friends, increasing their quality of life, and we have noticed a decrease in both turnover and training costs. We look forward to talented and motivated people from surrounding states with lower minimum wages coming to work in Illinois which will increase our business vitality.”

Dave Miller, Owner of Baker Miller bakery and café in Chicago, said, “For businesses to thrive, people working full-time have to earn wages they can live on. Too many people have too little purchasing power. Workers and their families need more income and less financial stress. Many small business owners want to pay our workers a higher wage in a way that allows us to stay competitive and sustainable. Gradually raising the minimum wage to $15 is an investment that will strengthen the economy and our communities.”

Kelly Vlahakis-Hanks, CEO of Earth Friendly Products, which has manufactured in Addison for more than 50 years, said, “Having manufactured in Illinois since 1967, we know that raising the minimum wage to $15 will help businesses and employees thrive. Paying a living wage has improved our bottom line. We start employees at $17 and provide great benefits while selling our products at competitive prices. Our voluntary turnover rate is extremely low, our productivity has increased, and our profits continue to grow. Our ECOS brand is sold throughout the world. And our employees are our greatest brand ambassadors.”

Robert Olson, Owner of Olson & Associates in Springfield, Washington and Lombard, said, “By gradually raising the minimum wage to $15 by 2025, low-wage businesses will have the time they need to plan and adjust, while experiencing the benefits of a higher wage floor like increased consumer spending and increased productivity. Raising the minimum wage will also mean a more level playing field for business. It’s not right that some businesses pay wages that are so low their employees need public assistance and private charity just to get by.” ...

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