Small business owners with employees strongly favor raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 and adjusting it to keep up with the cost of living in future years, according to a scientific national opinion poll. The federal minimum wage has been set at $7.25 an hour since it was last increased five years ago in July 2009.
A striking 61% of small business employers 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. This finding is higher than reported in previous small business polling, indicating growing support among small business owners for a $10.10 federal minimum wage.
Small business owners believe that a higher minimum wage would benefit business in important ways: 58% say raising the minimum wage would increase consumer purchasing power. 56% say raising the minimum wage would help the economy. In addition, 53% agree that with a higher minimum wage, businesses would benefit from lower employee turnover and increased productivity and customer satisfaction.
Small business support for raising the federal minimum wage is strong across the country. Employers favor raising the minimum wage to $10.10 by a 67% majority in the Northeast, 61% in the Midwest, 60% in the West and 58% in the South.
The poll of small business employers was conducted by Lake Research Partners, June 4-10, 2014, and commissioned by Business for a Fair Minimum Wage and the the American Sustainable Business Council. The scientific nationwide live telephone survey included owners of for-profit small businesses with 2 to 99 employees. A plurality of respondents were Republican, reflecting the Republican tilt of small business owners nationally. 43% of respondents identified themselves as Republican or independent-leaning Republican, 28% as Democrat or independent-leaning Democratic, and 19% as independent.