DC Businesses Applaud Mayor Signing $15 Minimum Wage Bill into Law

Mayor Bowser will visit &pizza and sign $15 minimum wage bill into law, as additional Business for a Fair Minimum Wage members attend in support

CONTACT: Erin Musgrave, (530) 864-7014, erin@erinmusgravecommunications.com

Washington, D.C. June 27, 2016 — Washington D.C. business owners will be on hand today to support Mayor Muriel Bowser as she visits &pizza, a member of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, and signs the Fair Shot Minimum Wage Amendment Act of 2016.

The new law will give more than 100,000 workers a raise in the nation’s Capital, providing an infusion of cash into the economy that will strengthen local businesses. Gradually raising the District’s minimum wage to $15 by 2020, and adjusting it for the cost of living beginning in 2021, will increase consumer spending, reduce costly worker turnover, and provide time for businesses to adjust to the higher minimum.

D.C’s minimum wage, now $10.50, is currently scheduled to increase to $11.50 on July 1.

Michael Lastoria, CEO and founder of &pizza, said, “This is a great day for D.C. businesses and communities. Fair pay is a vital ingredient to our company’s culture, and the wellbeing of over 400 of our ‘tribe' members – our employees. We applaud Mayor Bowser and the City Council for raising the District’s minimum wage. Fingers crossed that what happens in the district will not stay in the district, but continue to spread all across the country. It’s a simple, but critical, concept: allow your staff to thrive and your company will thrive. And ours is thriving as we will add another 200 jobs by year’s end."

Keith Mestrich, President and CEO of Amalgamated Bank, who is attending the signing with other executives, said, “As the first bank in the nation to raise our minimum wage to $15, we proudly salute Mayor Bowser and the City Council for taking a stand for the hardworking men and women of D.C. By raising the minimum wage, they are not only giving people an economic boost, they are also giving families a better chance for long-term success. More and more of the country is recognizing that paying a living wage is not only good for workers and our communities, it¹s also good for business.”

“Local businesses depend on local customers with money to spend,” said Gina Schaefer, owner of A Few Cool Hardware Stores (among them Logan Hardware, Glover Park Hardware, Tenleytown Ace Hardware, 5th Street Ace Hardware, Woodley Park Ace Hardware and Adams Morgan Ace). “Our employees shop at other businesses, and the employees of other businesses shop at our stores. Gradually raising the minimum wage to $15 by 2020 gives businesses time to plan. And an annual cost of living adjustment in future years will make wages and consumer demand more predictable.”

Andy Shallal, owner of Busboys & Poets and Mulebone restaurants, said, “Raising the minimum wage to $15 will reinforce a better way to do business and strengthen the District’s economy. Progress isn’t progress if it leaves out thousands of people who, despite hard work, find themselves living in poverty. The new $15 minimum wage moves D.C. toward a more equitable model of shared prosperity and a brighter outlook for residents and businesses.”

Holly Sklar, CEO of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, said, “This is a historic day for Washington D.C. Phasing in a $15 wage floor will boost consumer buying power, foster a more stable, productive workforce, and level the playing field for local businesses that already pay higher wages. This all adds up to create a healthier economy for our nation’s capital.”

“Raising the minimum wage is smart business strategy,” said Scott Nash, owner and CEO of MOM’s Organic Market. “At MOM’s, we consider paying a higher wage not a burden, but rather a high-return strategic investment. Our workforce is more productive, engaged and dedicated. They are happier, have less stress in their overall lives, and feel appreciated and secure. Customers love shopping at places with engaged employees.”

Rahama Wright, CEO of Shea Yeleen, said, “Paying D.C. residents a fair minimum wage is not only an ethical achievement but also good for business. My hope is that this creates a clear path to eventually pay all residents a living wage in an economy working for everyone.”

The business visit and bill signing will take place on Monday, June 27 at 6 pm at &pizza, located at 1375 Kenyon St. NW, and the Columbia Heights Civic Plaza located at the intersection of 14th Street NW, Kenyon Street NW and Park Road NW.

These business owners and others are available for comment and/or broadcast bookings. To schedule an interview, contact 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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