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CONTACT: Blake Case, (601) 832-6079

May 1, 2024 — Missouri business owners are speaking today about the importance of raising the state minimum wage and providing paid sick leave as Missourians for Healthy Families and Fair Wages submits signatures to qualify the ballot initiative to raise the minimum wage and enable workers to earn paid sick time. The business owners are part of Missouri Business for a Healthy Economy, a new and growing coalition of more than 400 businesses currently, who believe raising the minimum wage and paid sick days are good for business.

The ballot initiative would raise the state minimum wage from $12.30 an hour to $13.75 on Jan. 1, 2025 and $15 on Jan. 1, 2026 – followed by annual cost of living adjustments so the minimum wage does not lose purchasing power in the future. It would also enable employees to earn one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked. Employers with fewer than 15 employees can limit usage to 40 hours per year; those with 15 or more employees can set a limit of 56 hours per year.

Business leaders with Missouri Business for a Healthy Economy say that the ballot initiative to raise the minimum wage and provide paid sick days will be good for business. Minimum wage increases go right back into the economy as spending at local businesses. With better wages and earned paid sick time, businesses benefit from lower employee turnover, lower hiring and training costs, increased productivity, better health and safety, and better customer service, which keeps customers coming back.

Business owners across the state, who are members of the growing Missouri Business for a Healthy Economy coalition, commented in support today:

Joseph Chevalier, owner of Yellow Dog Bookshop in Columbia, said, “The minimum wage needs to be raised. Small businesses like mine depend on local customers with money to spend. If a small bookstore like ours can plan ahead for the wage increases and paid sick time in this ballot initiative, so can other businesses. We’ll all benefit from increased consumer spending and a healthier economy.”

Andy Faucett, owner of Bambinos Cafe in Springfield, said, “As a longtime family business, we are invested in our employees and our customers. We pay starting wages well above the minimum wage and it shows in our food, our customer service, and our business success. In fact, we’re renovating one of our locations now to position us even better for the future. Passing the ballot initiative to raise the minimum wage and enable workers across our state to earn paid sick time will be an important investment in Missouri’s economy and our communities.”

Mike Schroeder, co-owner of Oddly Correct coffee in Kansas City, said, “We know from experience that a business model built on fair pay and paid sick leave is a better business model. Years ago, we decided to invest in employees with guaranteed living wages and benefits like paid sick leave, and we’ve seen the positive impact on our bottom line. Not only did it lead to employees being more invested in their work, but it created an environment for higher quality of service and a better experience for our customers, which led to a 20% increase in retail revenue. During the pandemic, when others had difficulty staffing, and there were claims ‘no one wanted to work,’ we had new applications every day because people wanted to work somewhere that could actually support them.”

David Burmeister, owner of Midwest Pasta Co. in St. Louis, said, “Raising the minimum wage will increase people’s ability to shop at our business and local businesses across Missouri. We’re already starting employees at $15 at Midwest Pasta Co. because we’ve seen that paying better wages is better business. Employees are happier at work and do a better job. We also provide paid sick leave because we value our staff and, as a food industry business, we know it isn’t safe for sick employees to come to work. The ballot initiative will strengthen Missouri’s workforce and businesses.”

Laurie Knowlton, owner of Pickwick Underground Framing in Springfield, said, “When you take care of your employees, they stay longer and take good care of your customers. That’s the key to sustaining a successful small business like we have for more than 20 years. When businesses don’t pay enough to retain employees, they waste time and money on hiring and training new employees. Productivity, morale and customer service suffer. The ballot initiative’s paid sick time provision is important for similar reasons. If people don’t get time off to take care of themselves when they are sick, we can’t expect them to take as good care of customers.”

Missouri business owners supportive of raising the minimum wage and providing paid sick leave are available for comment. To schedule an interview, contact Blake Case at or 601-832-6079.


Missouri Business for a Healthy Economy is a new and growing coalition of hundreds of business owners and executives who believe a fair minimum wage and earned paid sick days are good for business.