Daily Record: Business opposition to Md. minimum wage hike strong — but not unanimous

By Bryan P. Sears
Daily Record, Feb 8, 2019

ANNAPOLIS — A fight to increase Maryland’s minimum wage to $15 per hour is pitting businesses across the state against each other, including some well-known restaurants.

Advocates of the increase say it will provide a livable wage to workers at the low rungs of the economic ladder who are struggling to make a living in one of the most expensive states in the nation. And while a number of business owners say the increase will reduce training costs, increase worker satisfaction and move them off social safety nets, many more say it will costs jobs and maybe even businesses. ...

But businesses are not monolithic on the issue and some supporters say opponents are “voices of fear.”

Ned Atwater, owner of six restaurants in the Baltimore area, called for passage of the increases and said it would drive down turnover and training costs for employers. “Our people should be at the top of our list of priorities not near the bottom,” Atwater said,
adding he offers his employees health insurance, meal cards and paid time off. “We still need to provide a living wage.”

Brian England, owner of Columbia-based BA Autocare, agreed. “When businesses pay so little that their employees can’t make a living, it hurts everyone,” said England.

Business groups are also split....

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