ST. LOUIS — More than 400 business owners and executives across the state have signed the Missouri Business for a Fair Minimum Wage statement supporting Proposition B—an initiative on the November ballot that will gradually raise Missouri’s minimum wage to $12 by 2023. Business leaders continue to sign on regularly because, as the statement says, they support “raising Missouri’s minimum wage because it’s good for business, customers and our local economy.”
The minimum wage sets the floor under wages, and wages are key to consumer spending. Real average hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory workers continue to stagnate despite low unemployment.
“Raising Missouri’s minimum wage makes good economic sense, which is why more and more businesses are showing support for Proposition B,” said Lew Prince, business campaign manager for Missouri Business for a Fair Minimum Wage. “Higher wages put spendable dollars into the hands of customers. Increasing the minimum wage is a great way to boost businesses and the economy because low-wage workers spend their much-needed raises.”
Missouri Business for a Fair Minimum Wage continues to build strong support from businesses around the state. Proposition B would raise the Missouri minimum wage from $7.85 per hour to $8.60 in 2019, and then increase it by 85 cents each year until it reaches $12 an hour in 2023.
Here’s what some of the business leaders who have signed the Missouri Business for a Fair Minimum Wage statement said about raising the minimum wage:
Howard Hanna, Owner of The Rieger and Ça Va, in Kansas City, said, “The minimum wage just hasn’t kept up with the cost of living, and paying higher wages has real bottom-line benefits. I’ve seen lower turnover and less kitchen waste, which saves us money, and better customer service that helps turn guests into regulars. Raising the minimum wage will raise everyone up and give the economy the jolt we need.”
Brandon Scott, Owner of Haute Salon in Jefferson City, said, “Our entry pay is above the minimum because we’ve found it helps us find and retain great employees – the cornerstone of our business. My employees and I take pride in helping our guests look their best, but we know salon services don’t come before food, rent and other basics. Raising the minimum wage will boost the consumer spending that businesses depend on.”
Bethany Budde-Cohen, Owner of SqWires Restaurant & Annex in St. Louis, said, “For our businesses and communities to thrive, people working full time have to earn wages they can live on. This is true in the Lafayette Square District, throughout St. Louis and across Missouri. Raising the minimum wage will put more money into customers’ pockets, helping us grow our businesses, revitalize neighborhoods and strengthen our state.”
Todd Bohart, Co-Owner of Dream Weaver Graphics in St. Joseph, said, “When workers and their families have more money, they spend it at local businesses. That strengthens our local economy – and when the economy is stronger, so is my business. Raising the minimum wage is a smart investment for businesses and communities across Missouri.”
Gabriele Ruggieri, Owner of Gabriel’s Food + Wine in Cape Girardeau, said, “If workers have more money, they’re going to be more likely to spend it at restaurants like mine. If people don’t have enough money to go out to eat every now and then, it doesn’t matter how tasty my food is. Raising Missouri’s minimum wage will have a ripple effect that all businesses will benefit from.”
Katie Canada, Partner at Departika in Springfield, said, “I could not run this business without my amazing employees. I have found that the happier and more financially secure they are, the better my business does. When employees don’t have to worry about having enough money to pay bills or to put food on the table, they’re more creative and productive. Raising the minimum wage will help Missouri prosper.”
For the growing signers’ list in formation visithttps://www.businessforafairminimumwage.org/Missouri/Signatories.