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As business owners and executives, we support gradually raising Maryland’s minimum wage. It’s good for business, customers and our economy.

Workers are also customers. Today’s minimum wage is not keeping up with the cost of living. Raising the minimum wage will boost sales as Maryland workers have more money to spend at local businesses. And nothing drives job creation more than consumer demand.

Raising Maryland’s minimum wage makes good business sense. Low pay typically means high employee turnover. With lower turnover, businesses see reduced hiring and training costs, less product waste, and lower error and accident rates. Businesses benefit from better productivity, product quality and customer service. Employees often make the difference between repeat customers and lost customers.

Raising the minimum wage is smart policy. It will reduce the strain on the safety net caused by inadequate wages that are too low to live on. It will level the playing field among businesses, strengthen the economy, and help businesses and communities thrive.

We support gradually increasing Maryland’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2023, with annual adjustments after that so the minimum wage keeps up with the cost of living rather than falling behind.