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 Bob Keener (617) 610-6766,
Erin Musgrave, (530) 864-7014,

Business owners speak about why they support minimum wage hikes in advance of numerous increases happening across the country at the New Year 

Dec. 20, 2017 – Eighteen states are kicking off the new year by raising their minimum wage, and business owners are speaking in support. Business leaders say the increases taking effect on Dec. 31 and Jan. 1 will boost consumer spending, reduce costly employee turnover, increase productivity and customer satisfaction, and strengthen local economies.

“Raising the minimum wage puts money in the pockets of workers who most need to spend it – boosting business and the economy from the bottom up,” said Holly Sklar, CEO of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage. “Minimum wage increases also pay off in lower employee turnover, reduced hiring and training costs, lower error rates, increased productivity and better customer service.”

Business leaders supportive of minimum wage increases, including Business for a Fair Minimum Wage members below and others around the country, are available for interviews.

“As a longtime fiscal conservative, I see raising the minimum wage as smart business and good government,” said Edwin Zoe, Owner of Zoe Ma Ma restaurants in Denver and Boulder, CO. “Minimum wage increases help local economies directly because minimum wage workers spend much of their income close to home. By contrast, there is no guarantee that any tax-cut monies corporations and wealthy individuals get will be spent at all, much less locally. When the minimum wage is too low, workers turn to government assistance to get by. Raising the minimum wage rewards work and levels the playing field by expecting businesses to compete fairly and not count on taxpayers to subsidize them.”

Mike Draper, Owner of Raygun LLC, Kansas City, MO and Iowa, said: “Missouri's small automatic minimum wage increase to $7.85 is certainly better than nothing, but I support the 2018 ballot measure to raise Missouri’s minimum to $12 by 2023. Our business is invested in America – from our Missouri and Iowa stores to our Los Angeles shirt suppliers to our paper products milled in the Midwest to our Made in the USA glassware. A fair minimum wage is a vital investment in our workforce and our consumer base.”

“As a manufacturer, I welcome New York’s minimum wage increases,” said Jon Cooper, President of Spectronics Corporation in Westbury, NY. “Companies that invest more in their employees have a more productive, motivated workforce. Minimum wage increases are great fuel for our economy, as workers put them right back into consumer spending at local businesses.”

Mark Rampolla, CEO of Beanfields Snacks, Partner in PowerPlant Ventures and Founder of ZICO Coconut Water, Los Angeles, CA, said: “Paying livable wages is good business. It reduces employee turnover and improves team engagement and customer retention. And when people have more money, they buy more chips, beverages and everything else.”

Business owners in states raising their minimum wage are available for comment through the New Year.

Read below for a list of scheduled increases for Dec. 31, 2017 and Jan. 1, 2018:

  • Arizona increases to $10.50 on Jan. 1, 2018, with future increases to $11 in 2019, $12 in 2020 and indexed for annual cost of living increases starting in 2021
  • California increases to $11 on Jan. 1, 2018 with future increases to $15 by 2022. Small businesses with 25 employees or fewer will have an extra year to comply, reaching $15 in 2023. After the minimum wage reaches $15 for all employees, it will be indexed for annual cost of living increases.
  • Colorado increases to $10.20 on Jan. 1, 2018, with future increases to $11.10 in 2019, $12 in 2020 and indexed starting in 2021 
  • Hawaii increases to $10.10 on Jan. 1, 2018
  • Maine increases to $10 on Jan. 1, 2018, with future increases to $11 in 2019, $12 in 2020 and indexed starting in 2021
  • Michigan increases to $9.25 on Jan. 1, 2018, and indexed for annual cost of living increases starting in 2019
  • New York
    • New York City increases to $13 on Dec. 31, 2017 and $15 in 2018 for businesses with 11 employees or more; it increases to $12 on Dec. 31, 2017, $13.50 in 2018 and $15 in 2019 for businesses with 10 employees or fewer.
    • Long Island and Westchester increase to $11 on Dec. 31, 2017, with future increases of $1 a year until reaching $15 in 2021.
    • The rest of New York State increases to $10.40 on Dec. 31, 2017, $11.10 in 2018, $11.80 in 2019 and $12.50 in 2020. Annual increases starting in 2021 will bring the rest of New York to $15 on a schedule to be determined based on cost of living and other indices.
  • Rhode Island increases to $10.10 on Jan. 1, 2018, with future increase to $10.50 in 2019
  • Washington state increases to $11.50 on Jan. 1, 2018, with future increases to $12 in 2019, $13.50 in 2020 and indexed for annual cost of living increases starting in 2021
  • Vermont increases to $10.50 on Jan. 1, 2018 with cost of living adjustments starting in 2019

States with Indexing where annual Cost of Living Adjustments will take effect Jan. 1, 2018 include:

  • Alaska increases to $9.84
  • Florida increases to $8.25
  • Minnesota increases to $9.65 for enterprises with an annual gross revenue of $500,000 or more and $7.87 for those with less than $500,000
  • Missouri increases to $7.85
  • Montana increases to $8.30
  • New Jersey increases to $8.60
  • Ohio increases to $8.30
  • South Dakota increases to $8.85

To speak to business owners supportive of raising the minimum wage, please contact Erin Musgrave at, 530-864-7014 OR Bob Keener, 617-610-6766,


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.