Contact: Blake Case
firstname.lastname@example.org, (601) 832-6079
Sept. 26, 2023—Business owners from across Massachusetts support increasing the state minimum wage. Business leaders are testifying at the Massachusetts State House before the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development in support of legislation that would gradually raise the state minimum wage from $15 to $20 by 2027. Additional business leaders provided written testimony and comments in support. Massachusetts business leaders say increasing the minimum wage will boost consumer spending, improve employee hiring, retention and productivity, and strengthen the economy.
Under House Bill 1925 (filed by Rep. Nguyen & Rep. Donahue) and Senate Bill 1200 (filed by Sen. Lewis), the minimum wage would increase by $1.25 a year until it reaches $20 an hour in 2027. The minimum wage would then be adjusted annually to keep pace with the cost of living.
“Raising the minimum wage will boost consumer buying power, strengthen businesses, and help build a more resilient economy,” said Holly Sklar, CEO of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage. “Local businesses depend on customers who make enough to buy what they are selling. Raising the minimum wage also pays off in reducing costly employee turnover and increasing productivity. It pays off in better customer service, which keeps customers coming back. Businesses that are more invested in their employees have employees who are more invested in the business.”
John Schall, Owner of El Jefe’s Taquerias, including four restaurants in Cambridge and Boston, said, “Our strong growth has been fueled by fair pay and the hard work, effectiveness and dedication of our employees. By paying living wages and benefits, our employees can afford to stick with us and to grow with our business. Employee retention drives customer retention. And when workers take home living wages, they can afford to spend money at restaurants and businesses across the Commonwealth. Let’s raise the minimum wage and see our businesses, working people and communities prosper.”
Dan Rosenberg, Founder and General Manager of Real Pickles in Greenfield, said, “Twenty-two years ago, I founded Real Pickles, a producer of organic pickles and sauerkrauts that are sourced heavily from Massachusetts farms and sold in more than 600 stores. As we grow, we continue to add good jobs in Franklin County and increase our purchases from Massachusetts farmers. Raising the minimum wage discourages businesses from underpaying workers and encourages a more sustainable economy.”
Rachael Solem, Owner and General Manager of Irving House at Harvard and Board Member of the Massachusetts Lodging Association, said, “Raising the minimum wage is good for the hospitality industry and good for our Commonwealth. Happier employees mean happier guests. It’s much better to pay higher wages than have high employee turnover, which undermines service and alienates customers. If I can pay wages of at least $20 today, certainly other businesses can gradually increase their minimum wage to $20 in 2027, as this legislation calls for.”
Charmagne Manning, President of the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce, said, “The pandemic hit workers, businesses and our economy hard. It is vitally important to understand that raising the minimum wage is part of the solution – while an insufficient minimum wage exacerbates the problem. Raising the minimum wage will help small businesses by putting more money in the pockets of Massachusetts workers, which will boost spending and job creation on Main Street. It will encourage business practices that are better for businesses as well as workers. It will help Massachusetts businesses and the economy continue to recover and grow stronger in the future.”
Rob Everts, Co-CEO Emeritus of Equal Exchange in West Bridgewater, said, “We are the leading Fair Trade brand of food and beverages in the United States – and we are proud to call Massachusetts our home. Fair pay has contributed to our strong growth, innovation and profitability for more than 30 years. Raising the state minimum wage will foster a more stable, productive workforce while providing a better minimum labor standard for our state’s economy. It will help make Massachusetts stronger – and an even better place to live.”
Michael Docter, Co-Owner of Mi Tierra Tortillas in Hadley, said, “The minimum wage needs to be raised. Our business succeeds because of the commitment of our staff. We pay our workers above the minimum wage because they are worth it. Retaining loyal employees requires that we take care of them. They take care of our business.”
Kathryn Hilderbrand, Founder and CEO of Good Clothing Company in Fall River, said, “Throughout my more than 30 years in the apparel business, I’ve always paid my seamstresses and other employees more than minimum wage. Paying employees a living wage shows that I value their time and skill and essential role in our company. Raising the minimum wage will demonstrate that Massachusetts values workers.”
To arrange an interview with Massachusetts business leaders supportive of increasing the minimum wage, please contact Blake Case at email@example.com or 601-832-6079