BFMW In the News

Public News Service - Report Makes Case for $15 Minimum Wage in Ohio

By Mary Schuermann Kuhlman
Public News Service - OH, April 14, 2021. Also WCSM Radio, Cleveland Scene, Cincinnati City Beat, others

COLUMBUS, Ohio - A new report makes the case that Ohio workers deserve a higher minimum wage. According to Policy Matters Ohio, nearly 30% of Ohio's workforce - or 1.5 million people - would benefit from raising the state's minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2026. Ohio's current minimum wage is 8.80 an hour. ...

Hannah News Service: PMO Report Says Minimum Wage Increase Could Add $6.1B to Economy

Hannah Report
Hannah News Service, Columbus, OH, April 13, 2021

Policy Matters Ohio (PMO) released a report Tuesday on the potential benefits of raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, with researcher Michael Shields saying it would add $6.1 billion into the state economy each year, benefit 1.56 million Ohioans and drive greater pay equity for women and minorities. ...

Holly Sklar, CEO of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, discussed how the increase would help companies as well.

Greek Reporter: Kelly Vlahakis-Hanks: Managing a Green Giant During the Pandemic

By Tasos Kokkinidis
Greek Reporter, March 30, 2021

Greek-American Kelly Vlahakis-Hanks, President and CEO of ECOS®, is not just a successful business leader but also an influential and dedicated environmentalist. In an in-depth interview with Greek Reporter, she explains how her company, which makes the environmentally friendly ECOS Laundry Detergent and other household cleaners, adapted to the coronavirus pandemic by prioritizing the health of its employees and scaling its operations to meet the global need for cleaning products. ...

ECOS, a member of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, has been a front-runner in supporting its employees with a strong health insurance policy, family-friendly benefits and a fair living wage, paying a minimum wage of $17 an hour, one of the highest in the industry.

American Independent: Democratic lawmakers aren't giving up on the fight to raise the minimum wage

By Donna Provencher
American Independent, March 22, 2021 

Democratic lawmakers joined a call Friday with workers' rights advocates to discuss new strategies to raise the federal minimum wage after recent roadblocks prevented its inclusion in President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID relief package. ...

Advocates and activists have long been pushing to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour, given that worker wages haven't kept pace with the rise of cost of living in the United States for years. ... According to the [MIT] living wage calculator, even $15 an hour is lower than the cost of living in most parts of America.

Delaware Live: Will minimum wage hike to $15 help banish poverty or destroy business?

By Betsy Price
Delaware Live, March 17, 2021

It was a tale of two minimum wage hikes Wednesday during a hearing on a bill that would raise Delaware’s to $15 an hour by 2025.

Those in favor of the bill said raising it from $9.25 an hour would raise tens of thousands of Delawareans out of poverty, including a large number of women and minorities; help businesses thrive because higher wages means less turnover; and prevent workers from taking jobs in nearby states where minimum already is above Delaware’s. ...


Alissa Barron Menza, vice president of Businesses for a Fair Minimum Wage, said raising minimum wage makes good business sense because it sets a wage floor, and also because employees spend their money in the community.

Delaware State News: Minimum wage bill released from Delaware Senate committee after lengthy hearing

By Matt Bittle
Delaware State News, March 17, 2021

DOVER — The Delaware Senate is set to vote Thursday on legislation raising the state’s minimum wage from $9.25 to $15 in phases, after passing it through committee Wednesday. ...

Forty-four members of the public spoke on the bill in the two-hour Senate Labor Committee meeting, with a majority favoring passage. ...

Alissa Barron-Menza, vice president of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, noted that a federal minimum wage was first enacted during the Great Depression in the 1930s to help spark economic growth.

"We need that same kind of boost again. It’s bad for businesses and communities when workers can’t afford even the basics," she said. ...

Delaware Business Times: Minimum wage hike advances to Senate vote

By Taylor Goebel
Delaware Business Times, March 17, 2021

DOVER – Delaware is one step closer to raising its hourly minimum wage to $15 by 2025, after the Senate Labor Committee cleared Senate Bill 15 on Wednesday afternoon. ...

Ecolistic Cleaning owner Courtney Sunborn said during the meeting that all employees at her Lewes location will be making at least $15 by the end of 2021. None of them currently make below $14.50.

Sunborn, who began her cleaning service company 19 years ago, said paying a livable wage is “good for business.”

Cape Gazette: Minimum wage bill returns in Delaware

By Melissa Steele
Cape Gazette,  March 12, 2021

... In a press conference March 8, Sen. Jack Walsh, D-Stanton, said raising the minimum wage is about giving workers a living wage. “Somebody who puts in a full day of work should be able to put a roof over their heads,” he said. “They deserve our help in lifting them out of poverty.” ...

The bill proposes to incrementally increase the minimum wage to $15 by 2025.

Lewes businesswoman Courtney Sunborn ...  started her cleaning business, Ecolistic Cleaning, 18 years ago and ... today she starts [employees] at $14.50.

CNN: Here's what hourly workers and small business owners think of a $15 minimum wage

By Alaa Elassar
CNN, March 9, 2021

President Joe Biden, along with other Democrats, have voiced support for an increase in the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 an hour. ... Here's what some hourly workers and small business owners have to say ...

Owner: Ji Hye Kim

Ji Hye Kim, 43, owns Miss Kim, a Korean restaurant, in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Kim, the owner and chef, said she fully supports raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. She currently pays staff $12 an hour, but some earn even more with tips. The minimum wage in Michigan is $9.65 an hour.

NBC News: 'The world has changed': The scrambled new politics of the minimum wage

By Alex Seitz-Wald
NBC News, March 8, 2021

WASHINGTON — ... For the first time in years, Democrats may find a receptive audience from major business interests and some Republicans for raising the minimum wage — although not all the way to $15. Even the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the titan of Washington business lobbying, says the current $7.25 federal minimum is "outdated."

Holly Sklar, who runs a coalition of hundreds of companies that support a $15 minimum wage called Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, said: "This is 2021. So whatever people thought of $15 in 2012, 2013, 2014 or 2015, a lot of time has gone by. It should look different. The world has changed." ...

NPR: The Complexities Of Raising The Minimum Wage On The Retail Industry

By Alina Selyukh
NPR Morning Edition, March 8, 2021

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST: NPR's Alina Selyukh talked with a lot of different business owners about a possible $15 minimum wage. And she got a whole lot of different opinions. ...

ASHRAF HIJAZ: People will spend the money when they have it.

SELYUKH: Ashraf Hijaz has about 150 workers at about two dozen beauty supply and furniture stores around the South. His starting pay is about $9 an hour. But Hijaz advocates for the $15 minimum because it would affect most of his shoppers.

HIJAZ: They will spend more money. And they will give me the ability to increase pay for my employees. ...

Delaware Public Media: Effort to raise Delaware's minimum wage set to heat up

By Joe Irizarry
Delaware Public Media, March 8, 2021

Legislation raising Delaware’s minimum wage to $15 per hour is expected to be introduced soon. And there is some business support for it. ...

Courtney Sunborn is the owner of Ecolistic Cleaning, a cleaning service in Lewes, and she says raising the minimum wage will help businesses as well as employees.

"Raising the minimum wage will bring people out of the impossible situation of working so hard at a full-time job that they're not able to make ends meet and when you raise the minimum wage it increases consumer spending and businesses rely on that to survive and grow," Sunborn said.