Minimum Wage: Our Stance

Below is Go Big Small Biz’s written testimony that was sent to the Labor and Industry Senate and House Committees. I hope you have a minute to read. Jeff and I are hoping to speak at a hearing and share our testimony live and in person.

There is still time to TAKE ACTION NOW.

Thank you for the opportunity to testify on the proposals to increase Pennsylvania’s minimum wage. We, Jeff and Tracey Wakeen, representing the Go Big Small Biz Network, with over 1000 members across the entire state of Pennsylvania, including small business owners, employees of small businesses, and individuals who frequent and support small businesses, and growing, write to express our concerns regarding Senate Bill743 or future legislation proposing a minimum wage hike. As small business owners in the Harrisburg area, we are deeply troubled by the potential harmful impacts an increase in the minimum wage would have on businesses like ours and the broader local economy.

The recent challenges posed by the pandemic coupled with government overreach have already forced us to shut down two of our businesses.

If either of those businesses, particularly our health club, were still operational today, it would not be financially feasible to accommodate the proposed wage hikes. The notion of paying a high school student $15 an hour to perform tasks like greeting customers and handing out towels simply isn’t sustainable for businesses like ours.

A mandate to increase the minimum wage would also create ripple effects that negatively impact small business owners, making their wages for skilled positions less competitive by artificially increasing wages for low-skill labor. There is a common misconception that “no one is paying minimum wage anyway”. That’s simply not true, there are still businesses and especially non-profits, paying minimum wage, or, paying $10/hour or $14/hour. The proposed wage hike will cause the rest of the employees to want to be paid more. The $15/hour employee will want $19/hour, the $20/hour employee will want $24/hour and so on. Thus, increasing the single largest line item in a small business’s budget.

Contrary to popular belief, the proposed wage hike will not necessarily result in employees earning more. Instead, it will likely lead to job cuts and reduced work hours as businesses strive to maintain profitability and viability. In addition, it will cause inflation and deter customers from frequenting our businesses, resulting in decreased revenue and further job losses.

Furthermore, there is a misconception that small business owners are profiting at the expense of their employees. In reality, most small businesses operate on thin profit margins, constantly reinvesting to sustain and grow their ventures while providing for their employees and families.

We firmly believe that the decision on how to budget our businesses and compensate our employees should be left to us, the business owners, who understand the intricacies and challenges of running a small enterprise. It is disheartening that many policymakers, often without the firsthand experience of managing a business or signing the front of a paycheck, seek to impose policies that could jeopardize the livelihoods of small business owners and their employees.

We urge the state government to refrain from intervening in our business affairs and instead focus on initiatives that support small businesses and foster economic growth.

In conclusion, we oppose the proposed minimum wage hike, which will have devastating consequences for small businesses, ultimately undermine our local economy, and discourage entrepreneurship. We implore you to consider the voices of small business owners like us and our members of the Go Big Small Biz Network and vote “No” on any legislation to raise the minimum wage in PA that would jeopardize our businesses and the livelihoods of our employees.

Thank you for considering our perspective on this critical issue.


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We are unifying and mobilizing the power of an entrepreneur network to give a Big Voice to Small Business.