Nicole Riley, state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, Virginia’s leading small-business association, released the following statement today in response to the House Commerce and Labor Committee’s votes against House Bills 1664 and 1512, which called for raising the state minimum wage:
“We’re grateful to the committee for doing the right thing and voting against a wage increase that Virginia’s small businesses simply can’t afford to pay.
“The General Assembly understands that businesses, especially small businesses, have only so much money. If the government raises the cost of labor, then employers can’t hire as many workers. It’s that simple.
“The minimum wage is for workers with few skills and little to no experience. If the cost of labor goes up, employers are going to hire older, more experienced workers. They’re not going to hire young people just entering the workforce or those without skills or experience. When all is said and done, a wage increase would end up hurting the very workers it’s supposed to help.
“On behalf of our members, we’re asking the General Assembly to continue opposing legislation that discourages small businesses from growing and creating jobs.”
NFIB/Virginia is the commonwealth’s leading small-business association with over 5,000 dues-paying members representing a cross section of the state’s economy.