Contact: Erin Musgrave
firstname.lastname@example.org, (530) 864-7014
June 29, 2020—Business owners in Illinois, Nevada, Oregon and Washington, D.C. say the minimum wage increases taking effect July 1 will give workers more buying power at a crucial time, as months of lockdowns and low consumer spending have taken a brutal toll on the economy. Illinois is increasing to $10 per hour in another step toward a $15 minimum wage by 2025, while Washington, D.C. is reaching $15 on July 1.
“The July 1 raises are welcome increases for the economy, because more money in the pockets of workers means more consumer spending at local businesses. This is especially important as we head toward July 24, which will mark 11 years since the last federal minimum wage increase -- the longest period without a raise since the federal minimum wage was enacted in 1938,” said Holly Sklar, CEO of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage. “Boosting the minimum wage will help businesses and communities in dealing with the pandemic and moving toward shared recovery.”
Business for a Fair Minimum Wage members in Illinois, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, D.C. and elsewhere are available for interviews about why they support minimum wage increases:
Jena Winberry Carr, Owner of Little Red Fox, a café, bakery and market in Washington, DC: “At Little Red Fox, we believe the $15 minimum wage is a positive step for business in our city. With our economy hurting right now, DC’s minimum wage increase will hopefully provide a much-needed boost in spending at local businesses. We’ve also found paying a higher wage helps keep our employees happy and reduces turnover, which is good for business as the financial, logistical, and emotional cost of replacing a good employee far outweighs the cost of a higher wage.”
Kelly Vlahakis-Hanks, President and CEO of ECOS (multiple locations, with a manufacturing facility in Addison, Ill.): “Having manufactured safer cleaning products in Illinois since 1967, we know the July 1 minimum wage increase will help businesses and employees--especially now, when it’s vital that workers have more buying power after months of lockdowns and reduced consumer spending. Paying a living wage has long been a key to our success. We start employees at $17 and provide great benefits while selling our products at competitive prices. Our voluntary turnover rate is extremely low, our productivity has increased, and our profits continue to grow. We’re very proud of the dedication our employees have shown throughout the pandemic to meet the demand for our products that help keep people safer in their homes and workplaces.”
Constance Palaia, owner of Motel Del Rogue in Grants Pass, Ore.: “Our motel is a very special place to us, and we want all of our customers to feel at home. Key to that experience is finding the right employees who take the best care of our guests. We pay well above minimum wage because when we find good employees, we want to keep them. We want them and their families to be secure and healthy. The benefits of our paying a higher wage outweigh the initial financial costs. Our employees stay with us, are healthier, call in sick less and ultimately our business benefits. With our business and many others hit so hard by the economic fallout from the coronavirus, we’re hopeful for a strong economic recovery. We know that a higher minimum wage will help with that by putting more money in the hands of consumers.”
July 1 increases include:
Illinois increases its minimum wage from $9.25 to $10 an hour.
Nevada increases its minimum wage from $8.25 to $9 (for employees without health benefits) and $7.25 to $8 (for employees with health benefits)
Oregon increases the standard minimum wage rate from $11.25 to $12; the metro Portland rate goes from $12.50 to $13.25; and the rate for non-urban counties goes from $11 to $11.50.
Washington, D.C. increases the minimum wage from $14 to $15 an hour.
To schedule interviews with business owners and executives supportive of an upcoming increase, contact Erin Musgrave at email@example.com or (530) 864-7014.
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.