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CONTACT: Bob Keener,, 617-610-6766

WASHINGTON, DC – Business owners are welcoming the minimum wage increases effective July 1 in Maryland, Washington, DC and Chicago. They say the increases will boost the consumer spending that drives job creation, and that businesses will benefit from lower employee turnover and increased productivity, product quality and customer satisfaction.

Gina Schaefer, owner of nine Ace Hardware stores in Washington DC and Maryland, said, “People are going to spend more money in the local economy if they have more money to spend. When employees earn a decent entry wage, they can concentrate on their job and customers without continual stress over how they are going to afford basics like rent, groceries or transportation. Paying fair wages helps us attract and retain good employees, increase sales, expand our business, and hire more employees. Raising pay at the bottom is good for the bottom line.”

Brian England is owner of British American Auto Care, Columbia, MD, whose awards include Maryland Small Businessperson of the Year. He said, “We would not have had the success we’ve had since opening in 1978, or won awards like Maryland Small Business of the Year, without paying our employees a fair wage. Employers who pay inadequate wages now will see that a higher minimum wage will reduce high turnover and improve worker productivity and customer service. Money from minimum wage increases goes straight back into businesses and the community.”

Elizabeth Colon is owner of Metaphrasis Language & Cultural Solutions in Chicago and the 2014 Illinois Small Business Person of the Year. She said, “Increasing the minimum wage is good for business and good for Chicago. The minimum wage should reinforce the value of hard work – not make it harder to make ends meet and succeed in life. If people make more, they will spend more where they work and live. Increasing the minimum wage will enable more people to make ends meet and will be a direct boost to businesses and our economy.”

Holly Sklar, CEO of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, said, “With the federal minimum wage stuck at just $7.25 since 2009, a growing number of states and cities are enacting increases to benefit workers, businesses and their local economy. We expect more to follow. We also need Congress to do what individual states and cities cannot: Raise the federal minimum wage so that all Americans can benefit from a more adequate wage floor, whether they live in Maryland or Mississippi.

Scheduled Increases on July 1: 

  • Maryland increases from $8 to $8.25 on July 1 – with future increases to $8.75 in 2016, $9.25 in 2017 and $10.10 in 2018.
  • Washington, DC goes from $9.50 to $10.50 on July 1 – with future increases to $11.50 in 2016 and annual increases indexed to the cost of living beginning in 2017.
  • Chicago goes from $8.25 to $10 on July 1 – with future increases to $10.50 in 2016, $11 in 2017, $12 in 2018, $13 in 2019 and then annual cost of living increases beginning in 2020.

These and other business owners and executives who support the increases are available for comment. CONTACT: Bob Keener,, 617-610-6766.
Sample Sources:

Maryland: Atwater's Bakery • Canton Ace Hardware, Federal Hill Ace Hardware, Old Takoma Ace Hardware, Waverly Ace Hardware • British American Auto Care • Mom's Organic Markets • Linemark Printing • Aquas Inc • Charmington's Cafe • Busboys and Poets Restaurant • Capital City Cheesecake • Community Forklift • CTC Technology &Energy • Chesapeake Sustainable Business Council • Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Montgomery County

Washington, DC: Logan Ace Hardware, 5th St Ace Hardware, Glover Park Ace Hardware, Tenleytown Ace Hardware, Woodley Park Ace Hardware • Florida Avenue Grill • BicycleSPACE • Eatonville and Busboys & Poets Restaurants • Trohv • Amalgamated Bank • American Income Life • Upstairs on 7th • Eighty2degrees LLC • Annie's Ace Hardware

Chicago: Metaphrasis Language & Cultural Solutions (Illinois Small Business Person of the Year 2014) • Dimo's Pizza • Hel’s Kitchen Catering • Paeon Partners • Mightybytes • Heartland Cafe • Blue Buddha Boutique • AWC Industries • Olson & Associates

The federal minimum wage has been stuck at $7.25 since 2009. Business for a Fair Minimum Wage has launched a new business sign-on statement, to show support for the proposed federal increase to $12 by 2020. It may be found here:

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 Eileen Fisher, Dansko Footwear, Ben & Jerry’s, New Belgium Brewing, Stonyfield, ABC Carpet & Home, Seventh Generation, American Income Life, Earth Friendly Products, Uncommon Goods, Zingerman’s, Amalgamated Bank, Pi Pizzerias, Beanfields Snacks, Spectronics Corporation, South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce, Greater New York Chamber of Commerce, American Sustainable Business Council and thousands more.

CONTACT: Bob Keener,, 617-610-6766