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WASHINGTON DC, April 30, 2014 – Today, Senators who voted against advancing a bill to raise the minimum wage were not reflecting the views of the American people who polls show strongly support a raise nor the views of businesses large and small across the country that have expressed strong support for an increase.
“The current minimum wage is hurting business and our economy,” said Holly Sklar, Director of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage. “We cannot build a strong economy on a falling wage floor. Today’s $7.25 minimum wage has less buying power than it had in 1950 and a third less than in 1968, adjusted for inflation. Workers are also consumers and businesses need customers who can afford their products. That’s what drives job creation. Increasing the minimum wage will also reduce the growing strain on our taxpayer-financed social safety net caused by poverty wages that leave workers unable to make ends meet despite working full time. We are counting on Congress to help American businesses and workers alike by raising the minimum wage in coming months.”
Chris Sommers, Co-Owner of Euclid Hospitality Group, including Pi Pizzeria in St. Louis, Missouri, and Washington, DC, said, "Too many people forget that the lower the wage, the higher the turnover, which costs businesses time and money in recruiting and training new workers. We raised our minimum wage to $10.10 without raising prices, knowing that employees who can make ends meet stay longer and are more productive. It’s a win-win when employees can concentrate on serving customers, without worrying about how they are going to make rent or put food on their own table."
Jim Wellehan, owner and president of Lamey-Wellehan Shoes, Auburn, Maine, said: “A higher minimum wage would have good ripple effects from local businesses to local schools Paying fair wages at our six stores has helped us succeed where others failed – and win shoe industry awards like Retailer of the Year. The minimum wage sets a floor under worker wages, and wages, in turn, supply the consumer purchasing power that is vital to business. Our tax base would be sounder and our social safety net less stressed with a higher minimum wage.”
David Levine, CEO of the American Sustainable Business Council, which with its member organizations represents more than 200,000 businesses across the country, said, "The business and economic case for an increase in the minimum wage are very sound, and we see strong support continuing to build within the business community. Instead of blocking a minimum wage increase, Congress needs to give the economy a much-needed boost.”
Businesses and business organizations are signing a Business For a Fair Minimum Wage Statement in support of raising the minimum wage. With nearly 1,000 signers and growing, they range from leading brands like Costco, Eileen Fisher, Dansko footwear, Ben & Jerry’s, New Belgium Brewing and Seventh Generation to smaller businesses like Zingerman’s, Vintage Vinyl, Lamey-Wellehan Shoes, Pi Pizzeria and independent Ace Hardware Stores in various states to business organizations like the Greater New York Chamber of Commerce and the American Sustainable Business Council, which with its member organizations represents more than 200,000 businesses.
The list of nearly 1,000 signers may be found online where it is updated regularly: http://www.businessforafairminimumwage.org/Federal/Signatories-Current