Minimum Wage Increase Would Inject $33 Billion into the Economy, Increasing Consumer Purchasing Power
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 11, 2014
CONTACT: Bob Keener, 617-610-6766, firstname.lastname@example.org
WASHINGTON DC – A groundbreaking new report and interactive map released by Oxfam America today shows the benefits in every US Congressional district of a $10.10 federal minimum wage, a level endorsed by Business for a Fair Minimum Wage members throughout the nation. Raising the minimum wage to $10.10 would inject about $33 billion into the US economy, according to the report. That translates into increased consumer demand for business products and services, which is especially important in regions still recovering from the Great Recession.
“Today’s inadequate minimum wage is hurting business and our economy. The Oxfam America report shows in welcome detail how much Congress could improve the lives of their constituents by raising the minimum wage to $10.10,” said Holly Sklar, Director of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage. “Remember that workers are also consumers – and businesses need customers who can afford what they are selling. Today’s $7.25 minimum wage has less buying power than it had in 1950 and a third less than in 1968, adjusted for inflation. It is time for Congress to pass an overdue minimum wage increase. We cannot build a strong economy on a falling wage floor.”
"Raising the minimum wage is good for business and good for our communities,” said Sherry Stewart Deutschmann, CEO and Owner of Letter Logic in Nashville, Tennessee, and a member of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage. “How can you expect your employees to be focused on taking care of your customers when they are struggling to make rent? Raising the minimum wage will increase productivity, reduce turnover and boost business and our economy by putting more money in the paychecks of workers who most need it. It will also reduce the use of food stamps and other taxpayer-financed government assistance programs which unfairly subsidize the profits of companies that don’t pay a living wage."
“Workers who make a part-time wage while working full time, are not able to support their families or be a good customer base for local businesses in their neighborhoods, towns or cities,” said Robert Olson, Owner of Olson & Associates in Springfield, Illinois. “Raising the minimum wage is a common sense first-step solution to building a healthy local economy.”
Dan Kartzman, President and Founder of Powersmith Home Energy Solutions in Copiague, NY, said, “We support raising the minimum wage for two main reasons. We’re a growing business and if employees aren't being compensated to the level where they can make ends meet and enjoy their lives, then they’ll be less focused on their jobs and providing a good customer experience. And, it's the right thing to do for all businesses. No one should be expected to work at anything full time and not be able to provide for themselves and their family.”
“A higher minimum wage would have good ripple effects from local businesses to local schools,” said Jim Wellehan, Owner and President of Lamey-Wellehan Shoes in Auburn, Maine. “Paying fair wages at our six stores has helped us succeed where others failed – and win shoe industry awards like Retailer of the Year. The minimum wage sets a floor under worker wages, and wages, in turn, supply the consumer purchasing power that is vital to business. Our tax base would be sounder and our social safety net less stressed with a higher minimum wage.”
Chris Sommers, Co-Owner of Euclid Hospitality Group, including Pi Pizzeria in St. Louis, Missouri, and Washington, DC, said, "Too many people forget that the lower the wage, the higher the turnover, which costs businesses time and money in recruiting and training new workers. We raised our minimum wage to $10.10 without raising prices, knowing that employees who can make ends meet stay longer and are more productive. It’s a win-win when employees can concentrate on serving customers, without worrying about how they are going to make rent or put food on their own table."
David Levine, CEO of the American Sustainable Business Council, which with its member organizations represents more than 200,000 businesses across the country, said, "The new Oxfam America report underscores the importance of raising the minimum wage. The business and economic case for an increase is very sound, and we see strong support continuing to build within the business community. Congress needs to give our economy this much-needed boost.”
Business owners and executives and business organizations are signing a Business For a Fair Minimum Wage Statement in support of raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10. With about 1,000 signers and growing, they range from leading brands like Costco, Eileen Fisher, Dansko footwear, Ben & Jerry’s, New Belgium Brewing and Seventh Generation to smaller businesses like Uncommon Goods, Zingerman’s, Vintage Vinyl, Lamey-Wellehan Shoes, Pi Pizzeria and independent Ace Hardware Stores in various states to business organizations like the Greater New York Chamber of Commerce and the American Sustainable Business Council, which with its member organizations represents more than 200,000 businesses.
The list of signers may be found online where it is updated regularly: http://www.businessforafairminimumwage.org/Federal/Signatories-Current
The Oxfam America report may be found here: http://www.oxfamamerica.org/explore/research-publications/working-poor-in-america/. Oxfam America’s interactive maps showing the impact of a minimum wage increase by Congressional district may be found here: http://www.oxfamamerica.org/workingpoormap.
Business for a Fair Minimum Wage is a national network of business owners and executives who believe a fair minimum wage makes good business sense. www.businessforafairminimumwage.org.
NOTE: Business for a Fair Minimum Wage members quoted above and others across the country are available for comment and/or broadcast booking. Please contact Bob Keener, 617-610-6766, email@example.com.
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