The case for a higher minimum wage is so compelling because it not only benefits workers, but also the businesses that employ them. Don’t take my word for it. Here’s what some business owners from around the country are saying:
“Our decision to invest in front-line employees will directly support our business, and is one that we expect to deliver a return many times over.”
-Gap Inc. CEO Glenn K. Murphy
“If we’re talking about building a business that’s successful, but our employees can’t go home and pay their bills, to me that success is a farce.”
-Boloco co-founder John Pepper
“Our people work really hard and $15 impacts their lives in a very positive way. The whole notion that it’s all kids starting out and they don’t deserve to be paid much, that’s all specious. We’re paying people $15 an hour so they have a living wage, so they really care about you when you come in the store.”
-Moo Cluck Moo co-founder Harry Moorhouse
“If workers have more money, businesses have more customers.”
-Seattle-based entrepreneur Nick Hanauer
“Our training costs would be significantly higher if we paid lower wages and we had the kind of turnover that you typically see in a restaurant.”
–Amanda Rothschild, co-owner of Charmington’s Cafe in Baltimore
And they’re not alone. A recent survey shows that 61 percent of small business owners now support an increase in the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour. They know that paying wages is good for the bottom line, increasing employee morale and productivity. They also know that more money in people’s pockets means higher consumer demand and more spending on goods and services, providing a shot in the arm to the entire economy.
Despite Congress’ failure to act, many states have taken matters into their own hands and increased their own minimum wages. Raising the minimum wage is pro-worker and pro-business. It is the right thing to do and the smart thing to do. Congress should just do it.
Follow Secretary Perez on Twitter as @LaborSec.