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MEDIA ADVISORY: For Planning for Monday, February 9, Noon at Grace United Methodist Church, 216 State St., Harrisburg

Harrisburg – Lancaster business owner Charlie Crystle, Co-Founder and CEO of Lancaster Food Company and a member of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, will speak along with Lieutenant Governor Mike Stack, state legislators and community leaders at the launch event for the Raise the Wage campaign. Crystle will be speaking for many Pennsylvania business leaders who believe that raising the minimum wage will help businesses and the state economy.

Crystle said, “As a small business owner, I strongly support a statewide minimum wage increase to at least $10.10 an hour. Employees should earn enough to at least cover basics like housing, food and transportation. It creates a healthier, more productive, committed workforce, which helps my business prosper. It's good for businesses and the local economy, which depend on consumer spending. Paying anything less is unethical.”

A recent poll of small business owners with employees shows very strong support, with 61% nationwide in favor of raising the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour and adjusting it annually to keep up with the cost of living. Pennsylvania’s minimum wage is currently the same as the federal $7.25 rate, which has not been increased since 2009. Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia now have minimum wages above $7.25, including all six of Pennsylvania’s neighbors.

After speaking at the plenary, Crystle will lead a workshop with Alissa Barron-Menza, Vice President of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, a national organization of business owners and executives who believe a fair minimum wage makes good business sense in Pennsylvania and nationally.

Barron-Menza said, “There is strong and growing recognition among business owners that raising the minimum wage will boost consumer spending, reduce costly employee turnover and increase productivity and customer satisfaction. Pennsylvania business leaders like Lancaster’s Charlie Crystle, Mandy Cabot of award-winning Dansko footwear, Josh Knauer of Pittsburgh’s fast-growing Rhiza technology company, and many others support a state minimum wage raise because it’s good for business, customers and the state economy.”

More than 1,000 small business owners and CEOs of large brands such as Costco, Eileen Fisher, Stonyfield and Dansko as well as national, state and local business organizations have signed the Business for a Fair Minimum Wage Statement to raise the federal minimum wage to at least $10.10.

Business for a Fair Minimum Wage is a national network of business organizations, business owners and executives who believe a fair minimum wage makes good business sense, including Costco, PA-based Dansko footwear, Stonyfield, Eileen Fisher, Ben & Jerry's, New Belgium Brewing, American Income Life, South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce, American Sustainable Business Council,  and other PA-based businesses, such as Lancaster Food Company, National Foundry Products, Arias Agencies, Azavea, Night Kitchen Bakery, Generation3 Electric, Imagicakes Cake Designers, Praxis Consulting Group, Exact Solar, Rhiza, and many others.

NOTE: PA 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,