Business Owners Tell Congress Raising the Wage Makes Economic Sense

Business owners from across the country testified before the House Democratic Caucus today about the benefits of raising the federal minimum wage

Washington, DC, April 27, 2016—Today business owners from diverse states and industries testified before Congress about how businesses and the economy will benefit from raising the federal minimum wage.

Business owners spoke at a House Democratic Caucus Forum held by Ranking Member Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D, VA-3), sponsor of the Raise the Wage Act, and other Committee on Education and the Workforce members. The owners explained how higher wages benefit their businesses and that raising the federal minimum wage will boost consumer spending, reduce costly worker turnover, improve productivity and customer service, and level the playing field.

The hearing comes on the heels of leaked polling conducted by Republican pollster Frank Luntz’s firm showing 80 percent of business executives, most of them members of state chambers of commerce, support increasing the minimum wage. Business for a Fair Minimum Wage’s national poll also found substantial business support: 61 percent of small business owners said they support raising the wage.

Carmen Ortiz Larsen, President of AQUAS Inc. and Chair of the Board of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Montgomery County, Maryland, said, “We found that it was smarter business policy to raise wages for lower paid jobs. The results were better staff morale, a more stable workforce, improved performance and better customer service. I don’t want my government supporting policies like an inadequate minimum wage that promote poverty, weaken consumer demand, and ultimately hurt my business and other businesses. We have to set a reasonable wage floor.”

“We have gradually increased our hourly minimum wage from $8 to $11,” said Scott Nash, Owner of Mom's Organic Market, with stores in Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland and DC. “MOM’s is the most profitable we’ve ever been. Our retention rates have skyrocketed, which has driven down our training and hiring costs. Our workforce is more productive, engaged and dedicated. Customers love shopping at places with engaged employees. Raising the minimum wage will increase American productivity, improve the lives of hard working people, decrease the number of full-time workers on public assistance, and grow consumer spending, businesses and the economy.”

Sherry Stewart Deutschmann, CEO and Founder of LetterLogic, Inc. in Nashville, Tenn., said, “When employees are paid a wage they can live on, they are better able to focus on the demands of their jobs. The quality of the goods and services they create are much better and build customer loyalty to the point where the company can be more profitable and sustainable. When I pay a starting wage of $16 plus benefits my employees have more money to spend at other businesses. The very least other businesses can do is pay a wage that allows their employees to afford the basics. The federal minimum wage, which Tennessee follows, has not been increased since 2009. Raising the minimum wage is good for business.”

Deutschmann serves on the National Women’s Business Council and LetterLogic has been an INC 5000 company – one of the nation’s fastest-growing privately held companies – for nine consecutive years.

Business owners are available for interviews and broadcast bookings. To schedule an interview, contact Bob Keener, bob@businessforafairminimumwage.org, 617-610-6766 OR Erin Musgrave at erin@erinmusgravecommunications.com or 530-864-7014.

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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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