Business Owners Speak at Press Conference with Senators Casey, Booker, Blumenthal and Markey
Washington, DC, March 27, 2014 – Highlighting strong business support for increasing the minimum wage, a Senate press conference today featured speeches by business owners who are members of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage and the Smart Capitalists, groups that organized meetings with Senators from both parties. Speaking at the press conference with Senators Blumenthal, Booker, Casey and Markey, were Jon Cooper, President and Co-owner of Spectronics Corporation in Westbury, NY, the world's leading manufacturer of ultraviolet equipment and fluorescent materials, and Scott Nash, Co-owner of Moms Organics Markets, which has 11 stores in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
At the press conference, Jon Cooper said, “Fair wages are part of the formula for success at my company. If the minimum wage had been automatically adjusted for inflation since the 1960s, businesses would be paying $10.74 today. My father founded our company in 1955, and he’d certainly agree it’s not right that minimum wage workers are paid less today than they were a half century ago. Raising the minimum wage to $10.10 is a long-overdue investment in our economy.”
Scott Nash said, “The reason I support increasing the minimum wage is that we have found at Mom's Organic Markets 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.”
Also speaking at the press conference was Clifton Broumand, of Man-Machine Systems Assessments in Arlington, VA, a member of the Small Business Majority.
Today and yesterday, two dozen business leaders, who are members of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage and Smart Capitalists visited Congress to demand a higher minimum wage. They argued that a higher minimum wage will increase consumer demand, reduce the strain on the social safety net caused by inadequate wages, and strengthen businesses and the economy. They asked lawmakers to support the upcoming Senate vote on raising the minimum wage. They represent many of America's top financiers, business leaders and investors, as well as thousands of small and mid-sized businesses, who agree that the federal minimum wage must be raised to at least $10.10 per hour and indexed to inflation.
During the two days, the business leaders met with senior White House officials, as well as Senators Reid, Harkin, Durbin, Hagan, Johnson, Manchin, McCaskill, Pryor, and with top advisors to Senators Ayotte, Bennet, Corker, Donnelly, Inhofe, Kaine, King, Kirk, Landrieu, Nelson, Portman, and Warner. They also met with House Minority Leader Pelosi, House Democratic Whip Hoyer and Congressman Miller, the lead sponsor of the Fair Minimum Wage Act in the House.
The Minimum Wage issue has gained significant momentum as polls show the vast majority of Americans across the political spectrum want it raised and numerous states are taking action.
Business for a Fair Minimum Wage is a national network of business organizations, business owners and executives including: Costco, Eileen Fisher, Ben & Jerry's, Dansko footwear, New Belguim Brewing, Seventh Generation, Parnassus Investments, Organic Valley, Zingerman's Community of Businesses, American Sustainable Business Council, Greater New York Chamber of Commerce, Main Street Alliance, ABC Home, National Latino Farmers and Ranchers Trade Association, Uncommon Goods, Spectronics Corporation, American Income Life, Vintage Vinyl, Lamey-Wellehan Shoes, independent ACE Hardware stores in various states, and many others.
The Smart Capitalists for American Prosperity includes leaders from both sides of the aisle including: former publisher of The American Conservative Republican RonUnz; investor and former White House Chief of Staff Democrat Erskine Bowles; venture capitalist and Managing Director of Greycroft LLC Alan Patricof; real estate mogul Jeff Gural; venture capitalist and co-founder of Alta Partners Garrett Gruener; co-founders of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield; investor Peter Stamos; TV Host Rick Steves, media investor and entrepreneur Leo Hindery, Jr; former investment banker and Harvard Business School professor Rob Kaplan; and many others.