Business Leaders Join Lt. Gov. Stack at Launch of Campaign to Raise PA Minimum Wage

Online Business Petition Now Collecting Signatures

Harrisburg, February 9, 2015 – Lancaster business owner Charlie Crystle, Co-Founder and CEO of Lancaster Food Company and a member of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, joined Lieutenant Governor Mike Stack, state legislators and community leaders at the launch event for the Raise the Wage campaign. Crystle represented many Pennsylvania business leaders who believe that raising the minimum wage will help businesses and the state economy.

Crystle said, “As a small business owner, I strongly support a statewide minimum wage increase to at least $10.10 an hour. Employees should earn enough to at least cover basics like housing, food and transportation. It creates a healthier, more productive, committed workforce, which helps my business prosper. It's good for businesses and the local economy, which depend on consumer spending. Paying anything less is unethical.”

Business for a Fair Minimum Wage has started a new online business petition to enable business people from around the state to endorse increasing the minimum wage to at least $10.10. In other states, business support has played a key role in securing higher minimum wages. The Pennsylvania Business for a Fair Minimum Wage Statement can be found here: http://www.businessforafairminimumwage.org/Pennsylvania-Minimum-Wage-Statement .

Amy Edelman, Co-Owner of Night Kitchen Bakery in Philadelphia, said, “It’s absurd that the minimum wage is still just $7.25, while people have rising expenses from rent and transportation to tuition and student loan repayments. When employers pay decent wages, businesses do better, customers are happier and our neighborhoods are stronger. Raising the minimum wage is an essential ingredient in Pennsylvania’s progress.”

A recent poll of small business owners with employees shows very strong support, with 61% nationwide in favor of raising the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour and adjusting it annually to keep up with the cost of living. Pennsylvania’s minimum wage is currently the same as the federal $7.25 rate, which has not been increased since 2009. Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia now have minimum wages above $7.25, including all six of Pennsylvania’s neighbors.

More than 1,000 small business owners and CEOs of large brands such as Costco, Eileen Fisher, Stonyfield and Dansko as well as national, state and local business organizations have signed the Business for a Fair Minimum Wage Statement to raise the federal minimum wage to at least $10.10.

Business for a Fair Minimum Wage is a national network of business organizations, business owners and executives who believe a fair minimum wage makes good business sense, including Costco, PA-based Dansko footwear, Stonyfield, Eileen Fisher, Ben & Jerry's, New Belgium Brewing, American Income Life, South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce, Greater New York Chamber of Commerce, American Sustainable Business Council, and other PA-based businesses, such as Lancaster Food Company, Night Kitchen Bakery, National Foundry Products, Arias Agencies, Azavea, Generation3 Electric, Imagicakes Cake Designers, Praxis Consulting Group, Exact Solar, Bar Marco, Rhiza and many others.

NOTE: PA members of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage are available for comment and/or television and radio booking. Please contact Bob Keener, 617-610-6766, bob@businessforafairminimumwage.org.

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