Trenton (March 18, 2013) – A new survey released today by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) shows that small business owners in New Jersey lopsidedly oppose a Constitutional Amendment raising the minimum wage by 14 percent next year and every year thereafter based on inflation.
“It’s one of the most one-sided results that I’ve ever seen in a survey and it should send a message to voters who care about small business,” said NFIB New Jersey Director Laurie Ehlbeck. “Raising the cost of labor on small businesses regardless of whether they are doing well and regardless of the economic conditions is a very bad idea.”
NFIB surveyed its members on whether they support a ballot initiative, headed for the polls this November, which would amend the state Constitution to include a 14 percent increase in the minimum wage and then automatic annual hikes based on inflation. Ninety three (93) percent of NFIB members oppose the initiative. Only six (6) percent support the question and only one (1) percent of members are undecided.
According to Ehlbeck, small business owners worry that raising the minimum wage will force them to cut back on jobs or reduce hours for their workers to make up for the higher cost of labor.
“Voters have to know that this will hurt the people whom they think they would be helping by supporting this initiative,” said Ehlbeck. “Low-wage workers will be hurt most because they’ll be the first to lose their jobs. High school and college kids who need part-time opportunities will be boxed out of the labor market.
“Small business owners who are barely hanging on will be pushed over the edge,” she continued. “The effect of this will not be confined to minimum-wage jobs. It will force employers to pay higher wages all the way up the scale because current employees will demand and deserve to be paid more than new workers. The bottom line is that the ballot initiative will hurt neighborhood businesses and people in the community who need entry-level work.”
NFIB will be working this year to educate voters on the impact of the initiative. Its members will be engaged in a statewide grassroots effort to defeat the measure.
“We have thousands of members in New Jersey and judging by the results of this survey they’ll be eager to wage a strong public education campaign,” said Ehlbeck. “Big Labor is going to spend a fortune to mislead voters, but we’ve got thousands of highly motivated members who are influential in their communities and we’ll be counting on them to make a fight of it.”
For more information about NFIB, please visit www.nfib.com.