Arkansas Democrat Gazette: Richard Bishop: Sullying good name

By Richard Bishop
Letter to the Editor, Arkansas Democrat Gazette, April 16, 2019

Sullying good name

As a small-business owner, I was relieved when legislation trying to weaken the law raising the minimum wage was voted down in the Legislature recently. I, along with the majority of Arkansans, voted to raise the minimum wage last November because it makes good economic sense. Some lawmakers tried to use the good name of small business as a reason to weaken the law. That's offensive to small-business owners like myself.

Workers in one business are customers at another. Raising the minimum wage will enable many more workers to make ends meet and it will boost the consumer spending that businesses depend on to survive and grow.

The legislation attempted to weaken the law by exempting most small businesses, but that doesn't help those businesses--it hurts them. It incentivizes people to work for larger businesses rather than smaller ones in order to make ends meet.

Lawmakers should understand that people need a wage they can live on, whether they work for a big or small business. I want my employees focused on the job--not worried about making rent. A lower minimum wage for small businesses would have them paying in other ways--in the form of lost productivity, high turnover and lost customers.

Voters knew exactly what they were voting for when they chose to raise the minimum wage. I'm glad lawmakers didn't overturn the will of the people, and hope they don't try to bring up any misguided bills like this in the future.

Raising the minimum wage will help local communities, small businesses like mine and the entire state economy, and I look forward to the increases going into effect.



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