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CONTACT: Bob Keener, 617-610-6766,

Representing Many More Businesses Across the Country Who Support Minimum Wage Hike

WASHINGTON DC, April 3, 2014  – Representing a large and growing number of businesses nationwide who support a minimum wage increase, Gina Schaefer, owner of nine Ace Hardware stores in DC and Maryland, spoke at a Capitol Hill event today with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and other members of Congress and national leaders. Yesterday, another member of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, Paul Saginaw, hosted President Obama for lunch at his deli Zingerman’s in Ann Arbor.

There’s a lot of business support for raising the minimum wage,” Gina Schaefer said at the event today. “Paying fair wages helped our business grow fast from our first store in 2003 to nine stores and nearly 200 employees now. When employees earn a decent starting wage, they can concentrate on their job and our customers without continual stress over how they are going to afford basics like rent, groceries or transportation. Fair wages help us attract and retain good employees, increase sales, expand our business and hire more employees. Our employees shop at other businesses, and the employees of other businesses shop at our stores. It’s a win-win for workers and businesses,” she said.

Schaefer’s nine independent Ace Hardware stores operate under the name of A Few Cool Hardware Stores, in Washington DC and Maryland.Her Old Takoma Ace Hardware was one of only four stores, out of 4,500 locally-owned and operated Ace Hardware stores worldwide, to win the “Coolest Hardware Store” award from Ace Hardware Corporation in 2011.

Schaefer and other members of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, argue that a higher minimum wage will increase productivity and consumer demand, reduce the strain on the social safety net caused by inadequate wages, and strengthen businesses and the economy.

Paul Saginaw said, “We know from experience a minimum wage increase makes great sense for business. Since opening Zingerman’s Deli almost 32 years ago, we’ve grown to eight businesses employing 625 permanent staff with revenues just under $50 million dollars. Paying entry wages our employees can live on has been important for our profitability and our annual compounded growth rate of 10 percent. Raising the minimum wage would boost our communities and our economy.”

These and hundreds of other business owners and business organizations representing hundreds of thousands of businesses have signed the Business For a Fair Minimum Wage Statement, showing their support for increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 over three years and then adjusting it annually for the rising cost of living. Today’s $7.25 minimum wage is lower than it was in 1950 and a third less than in 1968, adjusting for inflation. 

The minimum wage issue has gained significant momentum as polls show the vast majority of Americans across the political spectrum want it raised and numerous states are taking action.

Business for a Fair Minimum Wage is a national network of business organizations, business owners and executives including: Costco, Eileen Fisher, Ben & Jerry's, Dansko footwear, New Belgium Brewing, Seventh Generation, Parnassus Investments, Organic Valley, Zingerman's, American Sustainable Business Council, Greater New York Chamber of Commerce, Main Street Alliance, ABC Home, National Latino Farmers and Ranchers Trade Association, Uncommon Goods, Spectronics Corporation, American Income Life, Vintage Vinyl, Lamey-Wellehan Shoes, independent ACE Hardware stores in various states, and many others

NOTE: Gina Schaefer, Paul Saginaw and other 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,