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CONTACT: Bob Keener, 617-610-6766,

WASHINGTON DC – This Thursday, July 24, will mark five years since the federal minimum wage was last increased. Its current rate of $7.25 per hour has less buying power than it had in 1950, and a third less than in 1968, adjusted for inflation. In acknowledgment of the business community’s growing support for a minimum wage raise, two business owners will be honored by the White House on Tuesday, July 22, for their leadership as “Champions of Change.”

The business owners being honored at the White House are Lew Prince, Co-owner and CEO of St. Louis-based Vintage Vinyl, the largest independent music store in the Midwest, and Paul Saginaw, Co-founding Partner of Zingerman’s Community of Businesses in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Prince and Saginaw are leading members of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage (BFMW). In addition, Business for a Fair Minimum Wage CEO Holly Sklar and BFMW member Carmen Ortiz Larsen, owner of Aquas Inc. and Vice President of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Montgomery County, Maryland, will be speaking on the Economic Case panel at the White House event.

Lew Prince said, “The American Dream needs a minimum wage increase. We built our business on wages above the minimum, giving us devoted long-term employees whose ongoing relationships with customers have been vital to our success in a tough industry. Adjusting for inflation, today’s minimum wage is less than it was in 1979 when we started our company. It’s too low for workers to live on and too low to sustain the consumer demand that businesses need to survive and thrive. We can’t restore the American Dream without restoring the minimum wage.”

Paul Saginaw said, “We know from experience a minimum wage increase makes great sense for business. Since opening Zingerman’s Deli 32 years ago, we’ve grown to nine businesses employing 625 permanent staff with about $50 million in revenues. Paying entry wages our employees can live on has been important for our profitability and our annual compounded growth rate of 10 percent. Raising the minimum wage would help break the cycle of wages holding too many working families in poverty and boost our economy.”

A scientific national poll of small business owners, released by Business for a Fair Minimum Wage and the American Sustainable Business Council, found that 61% of small business owners with employees support increasing the federal minimum wage in three stages over two and a half years, and then adjusting it annually to keep pace with the cost of living.

“Today’s minimum wage is hurting business and our economy,” said Business for a Fair Minimum Wage CEO Holly Sklar. “We can’t build a strong economy on a falling wage floor. Workers are also consumers, and businesses need customers who can afford their products. That’s what drives job creation. As the new national poll shows, small business owners strongly support a raise – expecting a minimum wage hike to help the economy, boost consumer purchasing power, reduce employee turnover and increase productivity and customer satisfaction. We are counting on Congress to help businesses and workers alike by raising the minimum wage before another year goes by.”

Business owners and executives and business organizations are signing the Business For a Fair Minimum Wage Statement in support of raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10. With about 1,000 signers and growing, supporters range from leading brands like Costco, Eileen Fisher, Dansko footwear, Ben & Jerry’s, New Belgium Brewing, Seventh Generation and Organic Valley to smaller businesses like Uncommon Goods, Zingerman’s, Vintage Vinyl, Lamey-Wellehan Shoes, Pi Pizzeria and independent Ace Hardware Stores in various states to business organizations like the Greater New York Chamber of Commerce, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Montgomery County MD, and the American Sustainable Business Council, which with its member organizations represents more than 200,000 businesses.

The list of 1,000 business and business organization signers may be found online where it is updated regularly:

Members of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage from around the country are available for comment and/or broadcast booking. Please contact Bob Keener, 617-610-6766,

Business for a Fair Minimum Wage is a national network of business owners and executives who believea fair minimum wage makes good business sense.