"People who tell you that raising the minimum wage will hurt small business are flat out full of it," said Lew Prince, co-owner of Vintage Vinyl, a music retail business in St. Louis. "Small business owners know that keeping workers is easier and cheaper than finding and training new ones."Raising the minimum wage is common sense, right? Here's the problem:
Prince and a growing number of small business owners argue that paying a decent wage lowers employee turnover, improves morale and is the right thing to do. "Our long-term employees are way more likely to establish ongoing relationships with customers," said Prince.
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For many business owners, paying their workers well is common sense. "Trying to save money by shortchanging my employees would be like skimping on ingredients," said Kirsten Poole, a petition signer and co-owner of Kirsten's Cafe and Dish Caterers in Silver Spring, Md. "I'd lose more than I saved because of declining quality, service, reputation and customer base. You can't build a healthy business or a healthy economy on a miserly minimum wage."
A growing body of evidence shows that successful businesses that are "built to last" don't skimp on wages. "It is a sound business decision to increase the minimum wage," said venture capitalist Adnan Durrani, president of Condor Ventures in Stamford, Conn. "I have found that without exception in the successful ventures we've backed, providing sustainable living wages yielded direct increases in productivity, job satisfaction and brand loyalty from customers, all contributing to higher returns for investors and employers."
Research by the Economic Policy Institute validates the theory that raising the minimum wage will have a positive effect for low-wage workers without a negative effect on the economy.
The measure will eventually pass the Senate. The only question is how much corporate lard will be added to slide it through the Senate and across the President's desk. Small-business owners know that most of these tax breaks aren't for them. "They're trying to add a bunch of pork and so-called tax breaks for the big businesses that are trying to gobble up our customers," observed Lew Prince.Tell Senator Clinton and Senator Schumer to hold the line and pass a clean bill in the Senate to raise the minimum wage!
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