The current federal minimum wage stands at about $7.25 an hour. But small business leaders joined the Senate this past week in an effort to increase the hourly wage to $10.10 an hour. In recent months, we’ve seen employees all over the country, protesting for a wage increase. At McDonalds in New York City this past winter, employees pressed the nation’s fast-food restaurants to increase wages to at least $15 an hour.
While this may seem like a lot, small business owners say that once they’ve raised their employees wages, have experienced measurable benefits.
A senator from Pennsylvania said, “We know that 70 percent of the economy is driven by consumer spending,” Casey said. “If you put more dollars in the pockets of consumers, not only do you have that overarching economic benefit to the country, but of course small businesses especially benefit.”
But a more powerful testimony [for the small business wage increase] came from a small business owner himself, John Cooper says, “Inevitably as a business owner, you’re not going to get as much money initially, but I’ve found that productivity by people who have less stress, who are happier in their jobs, actually increases substantially every time they’re getting more money,” he explained. “And therefore, it doesn’t take that long for me to actually become more productive and actually make more money.”
However some small business owners are against the raise in the minimum wage, they say, “It’s a big risk, and for businesses with lots of employees, the increase could potentially hurt their cash flow.”
When it comes down to it, employees who are making more, will put more back into the economy, and although raising the minimum wage could have a short impact on our profits, the bottom line is in the long term, it benefits our workers and the owners of companies, because their employees will be happier in the end.