Large Majority Of Small Businesses Favor Minimum Wage Increase

In New National PollEmployers Across Political Spectrum Say Raise Would Boost Business and Help Economy


April 24, 2013, Washington, DC – In contrast to their conventional portrayal, small business owners overwhelmingly favor increasing the federal minimum wage, currently $7.25 an hour, according to a scientific national poll released today. The minimum wage was last increased in 2009.Two out of three small business owners (67 per cent) support increasing the federal minimum wage and adjusting it yearly to keep up with the cost of living. The strong support for a minimum wage raise is particularly striking since the small business owners are all employers and predominately Republican. The poll was conducted March 4-10, 2013 by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research on behalf of Small Business Majority.“This new national poll confirms what we’ve been saying all along – increasing the minimum wage will help small businesses, not hurt us,” said Lew Prince, Co-Owner of Vintage Vinyl in St. Louis and a leader in Business for a Fair Minimum Wage. “As I recently testified before Congress, workers will spend their minimum wage increase at local businesses buying the basics they can’t afford now. And adjusting the minimum wage annually for inflation would make it easier for businesses to predict labor costs and consumer demand.”The poll shows 65 per cent of small business owners agree that “increasing the minimum wage will help the economy because the people with the lowest incomes are the most likely to spend any pay increases buying necessities they could not afford before, which will boost sales at businesses. This will increase the customer demand that businesses need to retain or hire more employees.”Greater New York Chamber of Commerce CEO Mark Jaffe said, “I’m not surprised the poll indicates strong business support for increasing the minimum wage. That’s what our members have told us. It makes good economic sense. A minimum wage increase will boost the consumer demand that spurs businesses to hire and grow.”Other key poll findings include:

  • 85 per cent of small business owners pay all of their employees more than the minimum wage.
  • 65 per cent of small business owners agree “It is not right that people working full time earn just $15,080 a year at the minimum wage, which is significantly lower than it was in the 1960s, adjusting for inflation. Increasing the minimum wage would allow people to afford basic necessities and decrease the pressure on taxpayer-financed government assistance to make up for the low wages paid by some employers.”
  • 46 per cent  of small business owners surveyed identified themselves as Republican, 35 per cent identified as Democrat and 11 per cent identified as independent.

Holly Sklar, Director of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, said, “Today’s minimum wage undermines our economy. As this poll makes crystal clear, the oft-heard claims that most small business owners oppose a minimum wage increase are wrong. Most small business owners, like the general public, want to raise the minimum wage. The minimum wage would be over $10 if it had kept up with the rising cost of living since the 1960s instead of falling behind.”Business for a Fair Minimum Wage is launching a new petition for business owners and executives supporting a federal minimum wage increase.

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