WASHINGTON, July 24, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today marks six years since the federal minimum wage was last increased in 2009. Business leaders say that raising the minimum wage will be good for businesses, customers and the economy.
"Businesses need customers who can afford what they are selling, but today's minimum wage has less buying power than it had in 1950," said Holly Sklar, CEO of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, a national organization of business owners and executives. "We can't build a strong economy on falling wages."
At the current $7.25 per hour, the federal minimum wage is lower than it was in 1950, and a third less than in 1968, adjusted for inflation. In 2015 dollars, the minimum wage would be $7.43 in 1950 and $10.97 in 1968.
"An economy thrives when people have money to spend," said Mike Draper, owner of Raygun shirt company in Des Moines, Iowa City and Kansas City, MO. "Raising the minimum wage is the best way to get more people more money to spend in businesses."
Other business benefits from raising the minimum wage include cost savings from lower employee turnover, increased productivity and better customer satisfaction.
"Fair wages help us attract and retain good employees, increase sales, expand our business and hire more employees," said Gina Schaefer, owner of A Few Cool Hardware Stores, a group of ten Ace Hardware stores in Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia.
More than 35 million workers would see raises if the federal minimum wage were increased to $12 by 2020 as called for in The Raise the Wage Act introduced by Senator Patty Murray (WA) and Rep. Robert C. Scott (VA).
"Our employees drive our success," said Scott Fleming, president of Replacements, Ltd located in Greensboro, NC, and the world's largest retailer of old and new china, crystal, silver and collectibles. "No person should struggle to make ends meet after putting in 40 or more hours a week."
Business for a Fair Minimum Wage has a new sign-on statement for business owners and executives supporting a federal minimum wage increase. Inaugural signers include Ben & Jerry's, New Belgium Brewing, Eileen Fisher, Replacements Ltd, Earth Friendly Products/Ecos, Uncommon Goods, Zingerman's, Pi Pizzeria, Boloco, Lamey Wellehan Shoes and hundreds more businesses and business organizations.
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SOURCE Business for a Fair Minimum Wage