BLOG: What Small Business Owners Are Saying about Raising the Minimum Wage

By: Megan Healey, Deputy Press Secretary

March 16, 2016

Last week, Governor Wolf announced he was raising the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.15 for all employees under his jurisdiction — those include about 450 state workers, as well as all state contractors moving forward. While it was an important step, it represents only a small subsection of Pennsylvania’s workforce.

executive-order-signing

The governor — a former business owner who raised the minimum wage for his own employees — has joined forces with others in the private sector calling for the state legislature to do what our neighbors have already done in states like Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, and West Virginia: pass legislation to raise the minimum wage statewide.

Here’s what small business owners are saying about raising the minimum wage:

Citizen’s Voice Editorial Board: “A higher minimum wage is overdue as a matter of simple economic justice. And lawmakers can console themselves with this — a $10.15 minimum wage would result in an additional $225 million in state tax collections.”

Midtown Arts Center (Harrisburg) owner John Traynor: “It makes great business sense. Businesses throughout our state will see greater consumer demand as workers have more money to spend. Increasing the minimum wage will lead to greater employee retention, which reduces hiring and training costs, and increases productivity.”

Co-owner of Night Kitchen Bakery (Philadelphia) Amy Edelman: “At just $7.25 an hour, many minimum wage workers rely on public assistance to get by. That means taxpayers are subsidizing poverty wages and bad business models. We need a minimum wage that strengthens our economy rather than undermines it.”

Lancaster Food Company CEO Charlie Crystle: “People who put in a full day of work should get a full day’s pay that at least covers basics like housing, food and transportation – but you can’t make ends meet on $7.25 an hour.”

Trolley Car Diner (Philadelphia) owner Ken Weinstein: “If the minimum wage is increased across the board, all restaurants in our area will be on the same level playing field. By doing so, no one will have an unfair competitive advantage. It will be a win-win because all employees will have more spending power.”

Wigle Whiskey (Pittsburgh) owner Meredith Grelli: “We raised our wages because we did not feel right paying our talented and valued employees the federal minimum wage. We support Governor Wolf’s efforts to give workers statewide a living wage and help businesses reduce turnover and have customers with more purchasing power.”

Philadelphia Unemployment Project director John Dodds: “Raising the minimum wage would generate increased revenue and program savings of $225 million for the upcoming state budget…Every surrounding state has increased its minimum wage. This is a win-win situation for the commonwealth, and we call on the Republican leadership to stop blocking minimum-wage legislation and allow a vote on the issue immediately.”

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