Business Owners Praise Plan to Raise PA Minimum Wage As Gov. Wolf Set to Announce Budget

For Immediate Release: March 2, 2015
Contact Bob Keener, 617-610-6766, bob@businessforafairminimumwage.org

Harrisburg, PA – Business owners from across the commonwealth today released statements praising Governor Tom Wolf’s goal to raise Pennsylvania’s minimum wage. They have signed, and many others are signing, an online business statement which calls for a phased increase of Pennsylvania’s minimum wage to at least $10.10 per hour. In addition, the business statement calls for annual adjustments so the minimum wage keeps up with the cost of living.

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.”

“When you invest in your employees, they invest in your business,” said Josh Knauer, CEO of Rhiza, one of Pittsburgh’s fastest growing companies. “When costs go up, but wages stagnate, it hurts workers and customers, undermines consumer demand, stresses our public safety net and erodes our tax base. Raising the minimum wage is a critical investment in our state’s economy,” he said.

David Hausman, Owner, Hausman Insurance Agency in Bluebell, said, “As a business owner, I relish good math, and the math of raising the minimum wage results in positive growth for local businesses like mine. The average worker earning under $10.10 now would earn $1,300 more a year with a minimum wage raise. That money would allow a worker to buy necessities for their family, including protecting their family’s future. The math works for everyone.”

All are members of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, which recently launched the online business statement to enable business people from across Pennsylvania 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.

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 Federal 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, West Side Auto Repair, Mugshots Coffeehouse, Hausman Agency, Bar Marco, Girard Brasserie & Bruncherie, 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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