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CONTACT: Bob Keener, 617-610-6766,

BOSTON, MA – Massachusetts members of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, a Boston-based network of business owners and executives, testified before the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development in favor of an $11 minimum wage last June and are pleased to see that figure retained in the new House-Senate compromise. Under the compromise, the state minimum wage would increase from the $8 level in place since 2008 to $9 in January 2015, $10 in 2016 and $11 in January 2017. The compromise does not include a provision for future annual increases to keep pace with the cost of living, previously passed by the Senate, which Business for a Fair Minimum Wage also supported.

“Massachusetts led the nation passing the first state minimum wage a century ago in June 1912, and with passage of an $11 state minimum wage, Massachusetts will be leading the nation again with a wage floor that is good for business, good for customers and good for our economy,” said Holly Sklar, Director of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage. “Today’s eroded minimum wage weakens the consumer purchasing power businesses depend on to survive and grow. A higher minimum wage will boost sales, keep more dollars circulating in our local economy, and reduce the strain on our social safety net caused by poverty wages.”

A hundred business owners, executives and business organizations across the state have signed the Massachusetts Business for a Fair Minimum Wage Statement, which calls for the same increase as the House-Senate compromise (gradually raising to $11 over three years), with an additional provision for annual increases to keep pace with the rising cost of living. Signers include Costco, the Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts, City Fresh Foods, Hollister Staffing, Porter Square Books, The Longfellow Clubs, Cambridge Naturals, TAGS Hardware, South Mountain Company, Boston Organics, Sustainability Roundtable Inc., Tech Networks of Boston, The People’s Pint, Irving House Inn, Fire & Ice Restaurant, Basil Tree Catering & Café, Fresh Hair, Solventerra, The Just Crust Pizzeria, Dean's Beans Organic Coffee, Equal Exchange, Responsible Wealth, Stride Rite Foundation Chairman Arnold Hiatt, Philip Edmundson, CEO of William Gallagher Associates, and many more.

“Today’s minimum wage has less buying power than it had in 1974, when we opened our store, Cambridge Naturals, 40 years ago,” said Michael Kanter, co-owner of Cambridge Naturals, which hosted U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez and fellow business owners for a roundtable on raising the minimum wage in March. “We pay a starting wage of $11 and see that investment in our employees pay off in lower turnover, better customer service and all-around better business. Increasing the minimum wage will be good for small business and good for our state.”

NOTE: Massachusetts business people are available for comment and/or broadcast booking. Please contact Bob Keener, 617-610-6766,

Business for a Fair Minimum Wage is a Boston-based national network of business owners and executives who believe a fair minimum wage makes good business sense.