Increasing the Minimum Wage – Good or Bad for Small Business

The talking heads don’t agree on much.  After all if they did it wouldn’t be very interesting listening to them.  Of course that statement assumes you find them interesting at all. In any event there is little agreement as to whether or not an increase in the minimum wage will be good or bad for the economy in general.  What is certain is that small businesses will be affected by any increase, for better or worse.

Support or opposition to an increase usually falls along political lines with Democrats supporting an increase and Republicans opposing one.  However, small business owners seem to defy that general trend.  According to a poll, published by the Small Business Majority, 57 percent of small business owners participating in the poll support raising the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 per hour over a two-and-a-half year period.  Although the Small Business Majority usually sides with Democrats on issues, including this one, of the 500 small business owners who participated in this Internet survey (conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research) almost half (47%) identified themselves as Republicans.  Only 35% of the participants identified themselves as Democrats, with 18% ringing in as independents.  Some other interesting points garnered from the survey:

  • More than 80 percent of the participants already pay employees above the current minimum,
  • 52 percent think increasing the minimum wage will help small business by putting more spendable money in the hands of low income earners, and
  • Over 33 percent favor the increase because they believe it will make it harder for competitors to undercut them on labor costs.

Back to political lines, the republican leaning National Federation of Independent Business does not think that raising the minimum wage will be good for small business.  Among other reasons the organization believes an increase will put an inordinate burden on small businesses as most minimum wage jobs are with small businesses and they cannot absorb the increase as well as larger companies can.

The above is based upon an article appearing in the Business Journals, authored by Kent Hoover.  If you would like to read the entire article, click here.


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