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Annapolis, March 7, 2017 — Maryland business leaders will testify today in support of gradually raising the state’s minimum wage to $15 at a public hearing held by the Maryland House Economic Matters Committee. The proposed legislation would gradually increase the state’s minimum wage to $15 by 2022 for businesses with 26 or more employees, and to $15 by 2023 for businesses with 25 or fewer employees.
Business owners and executives supporting the minimum wage increase say it will boost businesses, communities and the economy as workers have more money to spend. They also stress that businesses will benefit from lower employee turnover and increased productivity and customer satisfaction.
Brian England, Co-Owner and President of British American Auto Care in Columbia, whose awards include Maryland Small Business of the Year: “Gradually raising the minimum wage to $15 will help businesses and the economy by putting more money in the hands of those most likely to need to spend it. I see working people having to choose between replacing bald tires and putting in a new battery, for example. It’s bad for workers and businesses that people working full-time need to make choices like that. As their minimum wages increase, businesses will find that employees are more productive and stay longer, reducing the costs of high turnover. And raising the minimum wage to a more adequate level raises working people up and away from needing the social safety net.”
Alissa Barron-Menza, Vice President of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage and Silver Spring resident: “We supported Maryland’s last minimum wage increase and we think a more robust increase makes good business sense now. The gradual phase-in will give low-paying businesses time to adjust and experience the benefits of a higher wage floor such as increased consumer spending, cost savings from lower employee turnover, increased productivity and more satisfied customers. Raising the minimum wage is good for business and good for Maryland’s economy.”
In addition to those testifying today, these restaurant owners and other Business for a Fair Minimum Wage members also commented:
Michael Lastoria, CEO and founder of &pizza with locations in Baltimore, Bethesda, North Bethesda, Gaithersburg and Germantown: “Raising the minimum wage makes great business sense. The success of our fast-growing company can be directly attributed to our employees, or our Tribe members, feeling appreciated and motivated. It’s a simple but critical concept: allow your staff to thrive, and your business will thrive. When we raise the wage, we raise up people—and with them our businesses, our communities and the economy.”
Andy Shallal, Owner of Busboys and Poets Restaurant in Hyattsville: “Raising Maryland's minimum wage to $15 will provide a more livable wage for workers and create a windfall for businesses that will benefit directly from the added money circulating in the community—the proverbial rising tide lifting all boats. Combined with incrementally phasing out the tip credit, raising the wage floor represents a better, more sustainable way to do business and grow the economy for everyone.”
Josh Keogh, Co-Owner of Baltimore Bicycle Works: “Raising Maryland’s minimum wage would mean many of our customers—and future customers—will have more income to spend on bikes and repairs. And the gradual phase-in would allow businesses plenty of time to ramp up to that $15 an hour. Having a stronger wage floor is a vital component of a healthier business climate.”
Nancy Meyer, CEO of Community Forklift in Edmonston: “When businesses see their employees not just as expenses but as assets it shows in their continued success. Small businesses that don’t invest in their employees with decent pay and training will often fail. Raising the minimum wage reinforces a better business model that invests in employees and a strong customer base for long-term success.”
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. www.businessforafairminimumwage.org