Says Increase Is Needed to Boost Consumer Demand
Columbia, SC, September 18, 2014 – Today the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce, which represents more than 5,000 businesses in the state, announced its endorsement of legislation to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour. The organization said, “The South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce believes that it is vital to our local, state and national economies to increase consumer demand on Main Street. Therefore we support the effort in Congress to increase the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour phased in over the next 2 ½ years.”
“Increasing the minimum wage is not a Red State versus Blue State issue,” said Frank Knapp, Jr., President and CEO of the SCSBCC. “It’s good business. It improves consumer demand, which is how Main Street businesses grow.”
Although many states have minimum wages that are higher than the federal rate, South Carolina has no state minimum wage so most workers are covered by the federal minimum, which has remained at $7.25 since 2009.
Knapp said, “Our state badly needs a boost. Per capita income has fallen by nearly 3 percent in the last five years. That’s the wrong direction. Wall Street might be booming but that isn’t helping Main Street. Increasing the minimum wage will put more money in the hands of people who spend it right here in South Carolina.”
The positive impact of a $10.10 federal minimum wage on South Carolina would be significant. About 300,000 employees in the state have hourly wages below $10.10, according to the non-partisan Economic Policy Institute. With an additional 150,000 employees expected to receive increases as a result of adjusted wage structures, the estimated total increase in wages for the state is $711 million. That translates to a $450 million increase in GDP for the state (net effect), providing a significant boost in consumer spending at South Carolina businesses.
The South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce brings a powerful new voice to the more than 1,000 other business organizations and business leaders from around the country, who have signed a statement in favor of increasing the federal minimum wage to $10.10, and adjusting it annually to keep up with the cost of living. The Business for a Fair Minimum Wage statement may be found here: http://www.businessforafairminimumwage.org/Federal-Sign-On-Statement.
Polls show increasing business support for a higher minimum, with 61% of small business owners nationally saying they are in favor of increasing it to $10.10 and adjusting for inflation [PDF: http://bit.ly/MinWageBizPoll ].
The South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce [ http://scsbc.org ] is a statewide advocacy organization representing the general interests of small businesses. Founded in 2000 the SCSBCC has successfully worked on taxation, healthcare, regulation, worker training, energy/conservation, economic development and other issues of interest to small businesses in South Carolina. SCSBCC has also advocated for enacted legislation at the federal level for healthcare, financial and access to capital reforms. SCSBCC is also the state’s principle utility and workers compensation rate small business watchdog.
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.
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