Boston Globe: Letter to Editor by Laury Hammel, Business owners support living wage

July 14, 2009

IN HIS critique of raising the minimum wage, Jeff Jacoby (Op-ed, July 8) cites economists who have predicted that jobs would be lost as a result of such an increase. He’s certainly not talking to owners of small or mid-sized businesses. We hire workers because there is work to be done, and we certainly do not lay someone off because we are “forced’’ to pay $7.25 an hour. As a business owner who employs more than 700 people, most of whom are part time (the majority of whom make more than the minimum wage), I am never troubled by the raise of a minimum wage. In fact, many local entrepreneurs I work with are promoting a “living wage,’’ which helps move people out of poverty.

It is a blight on our society that people who work hard, many times even two or more jobs, cannot have a standard of living that enables them to live above the poverty level and to be able to pay their bills.

Creating communities that provide good jobs with decent pay should be an objective of every responsible business owner, because, as Henry Ford showed, if your employees make enough money to buy the products you make, your company will experience great financial and community success.

The writer is owner of the Longfellow Clubs and executive director of the Sustainable Business Network.

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