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CONTACT: Bob Keener, 617-610-6766,

Annapolis, April 7, 2014 – Business owners across Maryland applaud the minimum wage increase to $10.10, which passed the General Assembly today. More than 180 business organizations and owners have signed the Maryland Business for a Fair Minimum Wage statement calling for a $10.10 minimum wage, including Costco, Atwater’s Bakery (Baltimore, Catonsville, Towson), Union Craft Brewing (Baltimore), Mom’s Organic Market (Rockville, College Park, Jessup, Frederick, Bowie, Timonium, Waldorf), A Few Cool Hardware Stores group (including Canton Ace Hardware, Federal Hill Ace Hardware, Old Takoma Ace Hardware, Waverly Ace Hardware), British American Auto Care (Columbia), Linemark Printing (Upper Marlboro), American Income Life Insurance, Community Forklift (Edmonston), A Cook’s Café (Annapolis) and many more around the state.

Brian England, co-owner, British American Auto Care, Columbia, whose awards include Best Small Business in Maryland, said, “I saw a quote from a worker in a state where they raised the minimum wage, which sums up what happens when wages are raised at the bottom where people need it the most. He said, ‘Now I can afford a used car.’ The money goes straight back into businesses and the community. And minimum wage increases keep people out of needing the safety net, so we end up with more secure and independent people. This minimum wage increase will be a great boost for our state.”

Dave Ashton, Co-owner of Linemark Printing in Upper Marlboro, said, “When the Governor toured our plant in March, we made the point that paying employees a wage they can live on is good for our business. The other business owners who joined us in a round table with the Governor made a very strong case that raising the minimum wage will be good for business and the state’s economy.”

Carmen Ortiz Larsen, owner of Aquas Inc. in Bethesda and Vice President, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Montgomery County, said, “We hired entry-level people at near minimum wage in the past, and learned this resulted in their personal financial problems impacting the quality of the work they produced and their ability to stay the course. Today, our lowest wage is $10 an hour. My staff is more reliable, I have good retention rates, a good product and happier customers. My corporate expenses have decreased, and I spend less time and money replacing and retraining staff. In short, my company is better because of this change. And Maryland will be better with a higher minimum wage.”

Gina Schaefer, owner of nine Ace Hardware stores in Maryland and Washington DC, said, “There’s a lot of business support for raising the minimum wage. Paying fair wages helped our business grow fast from our first store in 2003 to nine stores and nearly 200 employees now. When employees earn a decent starting wage, they can concentrate on their job and our customers without continual stress over how they are going to afford basics like rent, groceries or transportation. Fair wages help us attract and retain good employees, increase sales, expand our business and hire more employees. A higher minimum wage will mean more money circulating in our local economy, boosting consumer demand and our local tax base.”

Scott Nash, owner of Moms Organics Market, which has 700 employees and stores in Rockville, College Park, Jessup, Frederick, Bowie, Timonium, Waldorf as well as, Pennsylvania and Virginia, said, “I support increasing the minimum wage because we have found at Mom’s Organic Market that people with less stress are happier and work more productively. The minimum wage right now is too much of a burden on these workers, which is why we pay $10 per hour and will be raising to $12 by the end of the year.”

Amanda Rothschild, co-owner of Charmington’s cafe in Baltimore City, said, “Our business is thriving, seeing about 25 percent revenue growth each year, and we believe it is largely due to the above-minimum wages and benefits we offer our 15 employees. We see much lower turnover, better employee performance and satisfied customers. The more responsibly I invest in my employees, the greater return I get from them. A minimum wage increase will help business and our economy.”

Jim Schulman, Founder of Community Forklift in Edmonston, said, “Paying livable wages should just be a basic cost of doing business. Ramping up an increase in the minimum wage over a few years, as the legislation does, makes it easier for small businesses to absorb. And raising the wage will have huge public benefits like reducing outlays for Medicaid and SNAP.”

Stephen Shaff, founding executive director of the Chesapeake Sustainable Business Council, said, “We applaud the passage of a $10.10 minimum wage, giving Maryland a much needed raise. The bill would have been even stronger with the faster timetable originally proposed, and a provision for future increases to keep up with the rising cost of living so that the minimum wage will not again lose value over time, undermining consumer demand. We look forward to working for that in the future.”

The statement signed by more than 180 business organizations and owners says, “Raising Maryland’s minimum wage makes good business sense. Workers are also customers. Minimum wage increases boost sales at local businesses as workers buy needed goods and services they could not afford before. And nothing drives job creation more than consumer demand. Businesses also see cost savings from lower employee turnover and benefit from increased productivity, product quality and customer satisfaction. Increasing the minimum wage will keep more dollars circulating in our local economy and reduce the strain on our social safety net caused by inadequate wages.”

NOTE: These and other Maryland business people supporting a minimum wage increase are available for comment and/or television and radio booking. Please contact Bob Keener, 617-610-6766,

Maryland Business for a Fair Minimum Wage Statement

Signers to date:


Business for a Fair Minimum Wage is a network of business owners and executives who believe a fair minimum wage makes good business sense. Business owners and leaders of business organizations from across Maryland have signed the Maryland Business For a Fair Minimum Wage Statement.