FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: OCTOBER 3, 2013
Contact: Jon Whiten (917-655-3313) or Corinne Horowitz (609-937-1168)
Business lobby groups and affiliated business owners are holding a rally in Seaside Heights today to discuss their opposition to raising New Jersey’s minimum wage – an opposition not shared by all small business owners and not supported by the facts.
Below are statements from New Jersey Policy Perspective, the New Jersey Main Street Alliance and two small business owners from Elizabeth and Holmdel who are part of the Alliance.
Samia Bahsoun, CEO of Holmdel-based S2 Associates International:
Raising the minimum wage will put more money in the pockets of hundreds of thousands of workers who need that money to spend in their local economies. That will strengthen consumer purchasing power and create more customers — exactly what small businesses need right now.
Kelly Conklin, owner of Elizabeth-based Foley-Waite Associates:
The cost of this very modest minimum wage increase will be all but invisible to New Jersey’s small businesses. We’re talking pennies per burger, ride or ice cream cone on the boardwalks and main streets of the state. Raising the wage won’t hurt small businesses at all – it will help most small business owners, because they already pay more than the minimum wage. I’ve owned my business for 35 years, and I wouldn’t think of paying an employee $7.25 an hour. And I’m hardly alone. The professional business lobbyists keep insisting they’re fighting for guys like me, but the truth is: they aren’t.
Corinne Horowitz, business representative of the New Jersey Main Street Alliance, a network of 1,400 small and independent businesses across the state:
Real small business owners across New Jersey support raising the minimum wage. Business owners who work shoulder-to-shoulder with their employees know them and care about them – and they also know that $7.25 isn’t enough to live on in New Jersey. When people have more money in their pockets, they can spend more at local busineses. An increase in the state’s minimum wage will boost sales as workers are able to buy needed goods and services they could not afford before the increase. And nothing drives job creation more than consumer demand.
New Jersey Policy Perspective president Gordon MacInnes:
The business lobby’s arguments against giving New Jersey’s low-wage workers a leg up with a modest increase in the minimum wage just aren’t supported by facts or history. The sky won’t fall, jobs won’t be lost and the economy won’t collapse if we treat workers who are our struggling to get by in this high-cost state with respect. We know this from history, empirical research and decades of experience: minimum wage increases don’t lead to job losses or reduced opportunity for low-wage workers. What raising the minimum wage will do, however, is give a better shot at success to hundreds of thousands of New Jersey’s low-wage workers – and provide a modest bump in economic activity to boot. With facts like these on the side of raising the wage, it’s no wonder the business lobby has to resort to half-truths and distortions to fight it.
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