SMALL BUSINESS CALLS OUT MINIMUM WAGE RALLY ORGANIZERS

Date: April 14, 2016

SMALL BUSINESS CALLS OUT MINIMUM WAGE RALLY ORGANIZERS

BOSTON (April
14, 2016): A rally at the State House today has the National Federation of
Independent Business (NFIB) wondering if those touting wage increases
understand the economic consequences that such a mandate would have on
employment in Massachusetts, especially for young and unskilled workers, and
ultimately the economy as a whole in a state that already has enacted one of
the nation’s highest minimum wage increases that has yet to be fully
implemented.

“Just two short
years ago, the legislature voted to phase in a 22% increase in the minimum wage
to $11 an hour scheduled to take effect in January 2017. Small business owners
have had a difficult enough time adjusting to the currently enacted increases.
The last thing they need to worry about is one more mandate further increasing
payroll costs and interfering with the day to day running of their businesses,”
according to NFIB Massachusetts state director, Bill Vernon. “A new mandated
36% increase at this point would be disastrous for small employers doing
everything they can to keep people working in an environment where health
insurance premiums, employee leave benefits, and regulatory costs are
increasing dramatically. Small business owners have few good choices in the
face of these cost pressures – increasing their prices, certainly hesitating to
make any decisions to expand and add jobs. Small business owners do not know
where the next mandate is coming from while proponents of $15 an hour simply
refuse to see the magnitude of the long-term economic impact of what they are
calling for.”

Today’s rally
was organized by supporters looking for the minimum wage rate to be raised to
$15 an hour across the country. The NFIB has been advocating for years that
increasing mandates of any kind on the small business sector only adds to the
difficulties Mom and Pop shops are having recovering from the great recession
even in certain industries and in certain parts of Massachusetts.

“Our private
sector members are incredibly frustrated with the economic uncertainty with
which they are being forced to operate. Just
when they think that they can begin to plan for the future and budget for the
recent increases in employee costs, yet another drastic cost increase begins to
surface,” continued Vernon. “Ultimately any more wage increases are simply
going to eliminate jobs for younger or lower skilled workers. The minimum wage
rate was never intended to feed entire families, and it’s about time someone
spoke up about the political pandering and the economic absurdity of these
proposals.” 

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