Baltimore Business Journal: Ned Atwater: Raising minimum wage 'critical to economy, community'

By Ned Atwater
Baltimore Business Journal, March 12, 2019

My wife La and I founded Atwater’s Traditional Food 20 years ago, and with our managers and staff we’ve grown to six restaurant/bakeries, a catering team and a small working farm across the Baltimore metro area.

We support raising Maryland’s minimum wage to $15 by 2023 and phasing out the tipped subminimum wage by 2027. The proposed legislation is being debated in Annapolis this week.

We are a staff of 200, from high school to retirement age. Our staff are on the front lines of our survival and success, from cooking delicious food to ensuring our customers have an excellent experience and look forward to coming back again. They are working and enjoying the restaurant business while building the life that is right for them. And that starts with a living wage. ...

In Baltimore and across Maryland, today’s minimum wage of $10.10 is not enough. It’s bad for businesses when people working full-time can’t afford the basics. ...

Fair wages are critical to the health of our economy and communities. Local businesses like ours thrive and grow when customers have money to spend. And by phasing the increase in in over time, businesses will have time to adjust while consumer demand is increasing as working people have more money to spend on things they couldn’t afford before. ...

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Copyright 2019 Ned Atwater

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