By Scott Fuhrman
Miami Herald, Oct 23, 2020
People have been at the heart of Lakewood's success since the beginning, when we sold fresh fruit and juices out of a small warehouse in Allapattah to hotels on Miami Beach. Now, we are the nation's largest family-owned and operated organic juice company. We're still following a people- centered business model.
We pay a living wage plus benefits to every employee, from our juice makers to janitorial staff. We're proud to have multiple generations of families working here. Their dedication and loyalty help make our business what it is.
We support raising Florida's minimum wage through Amendment 2 because all businesses should pay wages their employees can live on. Florida's $8.56 minimum wage leaves too many people trying to live on paychecks that don't even cover necessities.
Four years ago we implemented significant raises and saw an immediate impact on employee pride and productivity. Employee turnover dropped to near zero - sharply reducing the costs of onboarding and training. We also saved money because of a decrease in errors.
We've joined others in the Florida Business for a Fair Minimum Wage coalition supporting Amendment 2 because it makes good sense for workers, businesses and communities. It gives businesses time to adjust as the minimum wage increases to $10 on Sept. 30, 2021, and then gradually to $15 in 2026. Each increase puts more money in workers' pockets and their families will have more to spend at local businesses.
We want to come out of this pandemic stronger than when we went into it. Raising the minimum wage will help Florida do that. Like my grandfather and father before me, I'm invested in Florida's future.
Scott Fuhrman, owner and CEO, Lakewood Organic, Miami
Copyright 2020 Scott Fuhrman
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