Something significant happened on Election Day that had nothing to do with the presidential race: Four states quietly voted to raise their minimum wage.
In what is fast becoming a national trend, a majority of citizens in Colorado, Maine, Arizona and Washington voted in favor of a gradual minimum wage increase until 2020; after that, the wage will be modified in accordance with the cost of living.
And it seems good things come in fours. In 2014, a quartet of states (Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska and South Dakota) also voted to increase their minimum wage. Continue reading
Cities and states around the country are considering raising their minimum wage levels, and one of the biggest sticking points in this debate has been the impact of a higher minimum wage on small businesses. Opponents of a higher wage argue that raising the minimum wage would harm small businesses. The reality, though, is that the majority of small businesses actually support a higher minimum wage. In fact, Small Business Majority just polled a random sample of small business owners around the country and found broad support for raising the minimum wage to $12 per hour.
San Francisco Chronicle
Chronicle business columnist Thomas Lee should be embarrassed to have his name grace “Debunking the moral superiority of ‘small businesses’” — a column clearly written by someone who doesn’t understand small businesses. Our groups don’t always agree on policies affecting small businesses, but we do agree that small businesses are the foundation of our economy, and lumping them into one narrow, ideological box buys into a long-standing myth that many in the political sphere would have everyone believe.
The unfortunate truth is that lawmakers often advance policies that favor large corporations over Main Street. And here’s where Lee missed the boat: the good reputation of small-business owners is often hijacked by these very lawmakers to justify policies that have no benefit to, and in some cases harm, America’s entrepreneurs.
Small businesses are politically, socially and economically diverse. While they want to be heard on the issues that are important to them, they are hardly monolithic in their views. Lee buys in to the false notion that small-business owners are lockstep in their support of policies — a view unscrupulous lawmakers and lobbyists have spent a long time trying to foster.
Despite growing support for raising the minimum wage, Congress has yet to even vote on legislation that would raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 and index it to the cost of living. As a result, many states are taking matters into their own hands. In fact, a whopping 34 states considered increases to their state’s minimum wage during 2014 legislative sessions. What’s more, 11 states and D.C.–Connecticut, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota and West Virginia to name a few–have all enacted minimum wage increases this year. If you believe the hype surrounding raising the wage, this should put small businesses in these states out of business, right? Wrong. Continue reading