Op-Ed By Michael O’Connor
Philadelphia Inquirer, Feb 26, 2021
I’m a small business owner, and I strongly support raising the minimum wage to $15. Paying employees wages they can live on is good business.
I own La Barberia, a full-service barbershop with locations in Philadelphia and Jenkintown. I know that if my employees aren’t happy, my customers won’t be happy.
It’s very important for us to have a stable staff without a lot of turnover. Customers count on seeing “their barber” when they come in. We don’t want barbers leaving to make 50 cents or $1 an hour more elsewhere.
The Pennsylvania and federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour comes to $15,000 a year for full-time work. I can’t imagine paying anyone $7.25 an hour. It would send the message to employees that I don’t care about you – or our customers.
At La Barberia, employees are our most important asset. We pay a decent salary that respects the craftsmanship and work ethic of our staff. Many of our employees have been with us for years – some for 40 years.
Some small business owners might call me lucky. But I call it smart business.
Employee turnover is disruptive, expensive and inefficient. Constantly hiring and training new staff slows down your business and costs time and money. It undercuts customer service.
With better pay, our employees stay with us, providing the great service that keeps our customers coming back and recommending us to others.
When the minimum wage goes up, businesses will see costly turnover go down.
Raising the minimum wage will also put more money in the pockets of local people, who spend it at local businesses like mine. ...
Michael O’Connor is the co-owner of La Barberia, with locations in Philadelphia and Jenkintown, and a member of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage.
Copyright 2021 Michael O'Connor
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