Business leaders praise minimum wage increase as boost to state’s economy
Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, a Boston-based network of business owners, executives, and business groups, released a statement last week commending the state’s passage of minimum wage legislation. The new law raises the minimum wage gradually from $8 to $11.
“We applaud the legislature for listening to business owners who’ve called for a minimum wage increase to $11 an hour,” said Holly Sklar, Director of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage. “We can’t build a strong economy on a falling wage floor. Massachusetts led the nation in passing the first state minimum wage a century ago in June 1912, and Massachusetts will again be leading with an $11 wage floor that is good for business, good for customers and good for our economy.”
Rachael Solem, owner and general manager of Irving House and Harding House in Cambridge said, “I have owned a small business employing nearly 50 people for 24 years. My starting wage is $11, which leads to a more stable workforce and customer service I’m proud of. It only makes sense that those working are compensated fairly. The more businesses compensate employees fairly, the less we all have to pay in government assistance for working people with inadequate wages.”
More than 100 parties across the state have signed the Massachusetts Business for a Fair Minimum Wage Statement, which calls for the same increase as the new Massachusetts law but with an additional provision for annual increases to keep pace with the cost of living. Signers include Costco, the Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts, City Fresh Foods, Hollister Staffing, Porter Square Books, The Longfellow Clubs, Cambridge Naturals, TAGS Hardware, South Mountain Company, Boston Organics, Sustainability Roundtable Inc., Tech Networks of Boston, The People’s Pint, Irving House Inn, Fire & Ice Restaurant, Basil Tree Catering & Café, Fresh Hair, Solventerra, The Just Crust Pizzeria, Dean’s Beans Organic Coffee, Equal Exchange, Responsible Wealth, Stride Rite Foundation Chairman Arnold Hiatt and William Gallagher Associates CEO Philip Edmundson, among others.