By Brian England
Recently I was asked, “Why do you support raising the minimum wage – aren’t all business people against it?” As a small business owner I care about running a profitable business. That means I also care about the local economy my business depends on. And most importantly, I understand that economies boom when more money is in the hands of those most likely to spend it -- from the lowest-income earners buying essentials to a growing middle class with more disposable income.
Today’s eroded $7.25 an hour federal minimum wage has a third less purchasing power than the minimum wage had in 1968. When minimum-wage workers can’t even afford necessities and the middle class is struggling and shrinking, our customers and our economy suffer.
Please consider these five reasons for raising the minimum wage, and then add your name to the growing list of business owners and executives across the country who know from experience that this is the way to boost local business and our national economy.
We have been in business since 1978 and our company has won many awards, including Maryland Small Business of the Year. Our employees are a big reason why. Other employers will find that a higher minimum wage reduces employee turnover and improves customer service.
Raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 over three years and then indexing it to inflation will help get our economy back on track. That’s why many business leaders support raising the minimum wage from small businesses around Maryland and across the country to large businesses and organizations like Costco and the American Sustainable Business Council.
Image credit: Flickr/stuartpilbrow Brian England is co-owner of British American Auto Care Inc., in Columbia, MD and a member of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage. Policy Points is produced by the American Sustainable Business Council. The editor is Richard Eidlin, Director – Public Policy and Business Engagement.
The <a href="http://asbcouncil.org">American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC)</a> is a network of companies and business associations. Its column, Policy Points, identifies public policies where a business voice, grounded in principles of innovation, fairness and environmental stewardship, can make an essential difference in the advocacy process. The goal is to arm readers with information and specific actions to take. As business leaders, we can and must support policy change to help make the economy more green and sustainable. The column editor is Richard Eidlin, ASBC's Vice President - Public Policy and Business Engagement.