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Contact: Erin Musgrave

Feb. 11, 2020, Richmond, VA— Business leaders today applauded the Virginia House of Delegates for passing a bill to raise the Commonwealth’s minimum wage statewide to $15 an hour, and look forward to the Senate passing its bill and final passage of this raise, which will strengthen businesses and the economy.

“Raising the minimum wage will boost the consumer spending that businesses need to survive and thrive,” said Alissa Barron-Menza, vice president of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage. “In addition, when businesses pay their employees more adequate wages, they benefit from lower turnover, higher productivity and increased customer satisfaction. Today, lawmakers stood up for the economic well-being of every community across Virginia.”

Margot Dorfman, CEO of the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce, said, “Raising Virginia’s minimum wage will help small businesses like my members by increasing consumer spending and strengthening Virginia’s workforce. Raising the minimum wage to a more realistic level helps level the playing field for businesses like my members who treat their employees fairly and are invested for the long-term in local communities.”

Numerous business owners across the state support the increase, including:

Scott Nash, CEO and founder of MOM’s Organic Market in Herndon, Merrifield, Woodbridge, Alexandria and Arlington, said, “Raising the minimum wage will help the economy and my business. I can’t hire anyone unless people buy our products. There is no higher return on investment than investing in people. Our workforce is less stressed and more productive and engaged, and our retention rates have soared over the years – driving down training and hiring costs. Longer-term employees also offer more expertise and better customer service, which helps increase revenues. Customers love shopping at places with engaged employees.”

Victoria McKoy, owner of Glamystique Hair Studio in Norfolk, said, “Raising the minimum wage will directly impact my business for the better. I need people to be able to get their hair done without having to decide between that and buying food. When people aren’t even earning enough to cover the basics, that's not good for my business or the many other small businesses in Norfolk and across Virginia.”

Alex Zavaleta, co-owner of Charm School Social Club, an ice cream shop in Richmond, said, “As someone who owns a low-ticket business, I'm looking forward to the minimum wage going up and more customers with more money in their pockets. We start people well above minimum wage and it shows in our low turnover and efficiency and in the quality of our ice cream. Virginia’s $7.25 minimum wage is way out of date.”

Crystal Mario, CEO and founder of Rivanna Natural Designs in Richmond, said, “We support a fair minimum wage of $15 by 2025. Our company has paid living wages in Virginia since 2001. This has enabled us to hire and retain talented coworkers and enabled them, in turn, to finance college education, support families, become homeowners, and purchase local goods and services. We attribute our growth to our talented and loyal coworkers, and strongly believe that our success, and that of other small businesses, rests on paying living wages.”

Andy Shallal, owner of Busboys and Poets restaurant in Arlington, said, “A $15-per-hour minimum wage will level the playing field for restaurants and other businesses. We cannot continue to rely on individual businesses or market forces to bring about this change. We need legislation. Such efforts will not only provide a fairer wage to all workers, but will also create a windfall for businesses that will benefit directly from the added money circulating in the community.”

Gina Schaefer, owner of Old Town Ace Hardware in Alexandria, said, “We support raising Virginia’s minimum wage to $15. Better entry wages have helped my business succeed. Raising the minimum wage to $15 is going to help Virginia and make it more possible for all our communities to thrive.”

To speak with business owners and executives who support raising the minimum wage, please contact Erin Musgrave at or (530) 864-7014.


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