1,000 business leaders across the country—from mom and pop small businesses and large retailers and manufacturers to organizations like the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce—support gradually raising the federal minimum wage to $15. Business quotes below.
July 18, 2019—Business owners across the country applauded the U.S. House of Representatives’ passage of the Raise the Wage Act today, which would increase the federal minimum wage to $15 by 2025. About 1,000 business organizations and owners – and counting - nationwide have signed a Business for a Fair Minimum Wage statement supporting gradually raising the federal minimum wage to $15 because it will increase consumer buying power, foster a more stable productive workforce, and strengthen local businesses and communities.
It’s been 10 years since Congress last raised the federal minimum wage—the longest period without a minimum wage increase since a federal minimum wage was enacted in 1938. The federal minimum wage of $7.25, which adjusted for the cost of living is worth less than it was in 1950, depresses consumer buying power and weakens businesses and communities.
“Today’s vote to pass the Raise the Wage Act is a vital step forward,” said Holly Sklar, CEO of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage. “A $7.25 minimum wage is too little to live on, and that’s bad for business as well as workers. Consumer spending drives our economy and raising the minimum wage boosts the consumer spending and worker productivity that businesses depend on to thrive. House lawmakers did the right thing today by passing this bill. It’s time for the Senate to do the same.”
These business leaders, as well as many others across the country, support raising the federal minimum wage to $15:
Margot Dorfman, CEO of the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce: “Raising the minimum wage to $15 will be a win-win for businesses and workers. It will help small businesses like my members by putting more money in the pockets of customers – boosting consumer demand and job creation. Businesses that pay low wages may save on immediate payroll, but they experience the significant expense of higher turnover, low morale and a less productive workforce.”
Gene Goforth, Owner, Architectural Hardware Designs, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: “When you pay more, you don't worry about your employee not being able to pay rent or bills or feed their family--all things that affect their productivity on the job. Also, those workers are out there stimulating the economy, and that's what businesses need more than anything else--consumers with money to spend.”
Bruce Champeau, President & Chief Operating Officer, Room & Board, headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota: “Raising the minimum wage is a vital investment in America. Ninety percent of our products are made in America by craftspeople and small businesses. In 2017, we decided to pay our staff well above the minimum wage - $20 and up for every position. It’s good for our people and the financial success of our business. We see increased commitment, productivity, professionalism and very low turnover.”
Johnny Martinez, Co-Owner of Joystick Gamebar and Georgia Beer Garden in Atlanta, Georgia: “Georgians can’t keep waiting for individual businesses to raise their wages one by one. We’ve seen the bottom-line benefits of taking care of our employees. But what would benefit our business even more is if our customers had more money because all businesses paid decent wages. We need a strong wage floor throughout the United States. It’s long past time to raise the minimum wage.”
Michael Lastoria, CEO of &pizza, growing fast with locations in D.C., Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts and Florida: “When you take care of your people, they take care of your customers, and your business thrives. As a result of fair wages, we’ve seen higher employee productivity and retention. Our employee morale has skyrocketed and, with it, our customer experience and our bottom line. Our employees have become our loudest brand ambassadors.”
Adam Orman, Owner/GM of L’Oca d’Oro Restaurant in Austin, Texas: “As a restaurant in Texas paying over the minimum wage to all of our employees – plus revenue sharing – we can testify that it does not hurt your bottom line. Customers support us. Employees stay with us. We have more control over our income. Our model is a win-win-win!”
Ashraf Hijaz, Owner of Beauty & Beyond based in Montgomery, Alabama: “Lawmakers aren’t doing businesses any favors by keeping the minimum wage at $7.25 and keeping more money out of the hands of our customers. Most businesses have a lot more customers than employees. Raising the minimum wage will increase customer spending at all kinds of businesses and be a welcome boost for our economy.”
Pat McMahon, CEO of One Point in Scranton, Pennsylvania: “I support raising the federal minimum wage to $15. Our employees are central to our success. We treat our employees like family, and we hope and expect them to stay with us for 10 years or longer. By paying livable wages our employees can afford to stick with us and grow with the company.”
Chrissy Jensen, Owner of Domestica in Des Moines, Iowa: “We need to raise the minimum wage because people are struggling just to get by. When wages are too low, everything is affected – home life, health, education and productivity on the job. All employees should have a sense of worth and a paycheck that reflects that. Raising the minimum wage to $15 will give people some room to breathe. They’ll be better workers and better customers.”
Pete Turner, Owner of Illegal Pete’s Restaurants in Colorado and Arizona: “Our tipped starting wage is $15 an hour. We reached that over three-and-a-half years and three raises. We’ve been able to grow store count, store average income and our profit, all while investing in our employees. We’re driving business values by running our business by our values.”
Gina Schaefer, Owner of A Few Cool Hardware Stores, a group of 11 Ace Hardware stores in D.C., Maryland and Virginia: “Raising pay at the bottom is good for the bottom line. We couldn’t have grown to 11 stores without our dedicated employees and the customers they serve every day. Customers have a choice – and they choose us! Better entry wages have helped my business succeed. Raising the minimum wage to $15 will help businesses and communities thrive.”
Sue Melvin, Vice President of Human Resources, Stonyfield, headquartered in Londonderry, New Hampshire: “At Stonyfield we know that our employees and our business thrive because we pay fair wages. But it’s time to raise the bar, so that everyone who works hard is actually able to make ends meet. That’s just not possible at $7.25 an hour. We are strong supporters of raising the federal minimum wage to $15.”
To schedule interviews with business owners and executives supportive of raising the minimum wage, contact Erin Musgrave at firstname.lastname@example.org or (530) 864-7014.
See the growing list of signers here: https://www.businessforafairminimumwage.org/Federal/Signatories/15by2024
Business for a Fair Minimum Wage is a national network of business owners and executives and business organizations that believe a fair minimum wage makes good business sense.