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Business for a Fair Minimum Wage launches new sign-on statement with more than 200 inaugural business supporters of raising the federal minimum wage to $15 by 2024

 Erin Musgrave, (530) 864-7014,

Washington, D.C., Feb. 7, 2019 — Business owner Kathy Eckhouse, owner of La Quercia in Iowa, will testify today in support of the Raise the Wage Act of 2019, a bill that would gradually raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2024, before the U.S. House Committee on Education and Labor. Eckhouse is one of more than 200 inaugural signers of the new Business for a Fair Minimum Wage statement supporting raising the federal minimum wage to $15 by 2024. Business owners and executives from across the country continue to sign on daily.

Business leaders support raising the federal minimum wage, which has been stuck at $7.25 an hour since 2009, because it will boost businesses and the economy as workers have more money to spend. Businesses also will benefit from lower employee turnover and increased productivity and customer satisfaction, and the gradual phase-in gives businesses time to plan for wage increases and experience the benefits of higher wages as increases take effect.

“The $7.25 federal minimum wage, which Iowa uses as do many states, is a drag on the nation’s customer base and economy,” said Eckhouse, whose company produces award-winning cured meats and sources from family farms. “Workers in one business are the consumers for other businesses. Raising the minimum wage is important to a healthy food system that sustains everyone from producers and sellers to customers and the communities we live in.”

Holly Sklar, CEO of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, said, “Raising the minimum wage to $15 by 2024 will be good for business, good for customers and good for our economy. Workers are also customers – and increased pay means increased consumer buying power. Raising the minimum wage also pays off in lower employee turnover, reduced hiring and training costs, and better productivity and customer service. Employees often make the difference between repeat customers and lost customers. We need to boost the economy from the bottom up and assure a decent minimum wage wherever people live and do business.”

The following business leaders and others are also available for media interviews:

Michael Lastoria, CEO of &pizza, with locations in Virginia, D.C., Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts and Florida, said, “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.”

Brandon MacDonald, Owner of The MacDonald Insurance Group in Birmingham, AL, said, “Increasing the federal minimum wage will help workers and families make ends meet, which will be good for them and good for our insurance business. When they have more money in their pocket, they will be able to afford more of the products and services that businesses offer – and the better we can help to protect them. It really comes full circle.”

Howard Hanna, Owner of The Rieger and Ca Va restaurants in Kansas City, MO, said, “I support the Raise the Wage Act, including gradually phasing out the tipped minimum wage to assure all workers get reliable living wages whatever their position. Paying above the current minimum and treating our employees well has been a recipe for success. We’re looking forward to opening two new restaurants next year, while our existing businesses continue to grow. The low-wage, high-turnover business model makes no sense. Our employees look out for our best interests because they know we are looking out for theirs.”

Sue Melvin, Vice President of Human Resources, Stonyfield, said, “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 by 2024.”

Angela O’Byrne, President of Perez APC, New Orleans, and Louisiana’s 2016 Small Business Person of the Year, said, “A stagnant minimum wage that mires full-time workers in poverty makes absolutely no sense from a business perspective. Paying fair wages boosts consumer demand, which drives job creation. Gradually increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 will create an economic ripple effect benefitting businesses large and small.”

Rebecca Hamilton, Family Owner and Vice President of W.S. Badger Company in Gilsum, NH, and a 2017 Forbes Small Giant, said, “$7.25 per hour is not an adequate wage in New Hampshire, or anywhere we sell Badger Balm and our other products across the U.S. Paying a living wage is a core part of our culture and has helped us hire and retain excellent staff even in a time when other businesses have struggled. Fair pay and other family-friendly practices help build successful businesses and healthy communities.”

Michael O’Connor, Owner of La Barberia, Philadelphia, PA, said, “We know that by paying fair wages, our employees are happier and they stick around, providing the great service that keeps our customers coming back and recommending us to others. When the minimum wage goes up, businesses will see costly turnover go down.”

Mike Draper, Owner of Raygun LLC with locations in Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Iowa City and Kansas City, MO, said, “Raising the minimum wage is important for fair competition and a thriving economy. My taxes shouldn’t be diverted into corporate welfare going to subsidize my competitors whose low wages drive their employees to public assistance. An economy thrives when working people can make ends meet and have money to spend at local businesses.”

Additional members of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage from across the country who are supportive of raising the federal minimum wage are available for comment and/or broadcast bookings. To schedule an interview, contact Erin Musgrave at or (530) 864-7014.


Business for a Fair Minimum Wage is a national network of business owners and executives that believe a fair minimum wage makes good business sense. Follow us on Twitter at @MinimumWageBiz.