A new national poll of small business owners revealed that 65% of small business owners agree that “increasing the minimum wage will help the economy.” The minimum wage was last increased to $7.25 an hour in 2009, and small business owners have often been portrayed as being against raising this amount.
The results of this survey are striking due to the fact that respondents predominately identified as Republican (46% identified themselves as Republican, 35% as Democrat and 11% as independent). Two out of three small business owners (67%) support increasing the federal minimum wage and adjusting it yearly to keep up with the cost of living.
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.”
Other key poll findings include:
- 85% of small business owners pay all their employees more than the minimum wage.
- 65% 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.”
“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,” said Holly Sklar, Director of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage. “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.”
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.”
The poll, which was conducted on March 4-10, 2013 by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research on behalf of Small Business Majority, a national small business advocacy organization, founded and run by small business owners, to support America’s 28 million small businesses