Small Business Owners Largely Support Increase in Minimum Wage

There has been robust debate among lawmakers and industry insiders alike over the last year or so about whether to raise the minimum wage for workers nationwide. However, it seems that the majority of owners of businesses large and small feel that such a move would be beneficial to workers and companies alike.

Today, 62 percent of employers support an increase in the minimum wage in their state, according to a new poll from CareerBuilder. When it comes to setting an actual number for what workers should be able to make at minimum, 29 percent each say that it should be $8 to $9 per hour, or $10 per hour. Another 19 percent believe it should be somewhere between $11 and $14 per hour. The less popular options were $15 or more (7 percent), keeping the minimum wage at its current level of $7.50 (8 percent), and abolishing the minimum wage altogether (9 percent).

The reasons business owners largely support such a positive change for workers are myriad, the report said. The most popular of these, at nearly 3 in 4 employers, is that it would improve workers’ standard of living. Another 58 percent felt it would help them keep workers on board, and 55 percent thought it would serve to boost the economy. Likewise, 53 percent also said it would have a positive effect on consumer spending, while 48 percent said it would cause workers to become more productive. Finally, 39 percent also believed it would lead workers to seek more education or training.

The impact on hiring
This year, more than 1 in 4 employers across the country plan to hire minimum wage workers, and many of those were clustered into just a few industries, the report said. For instance, 58 percent of leisure and hospitality firms paid their workers this little, as did 51 percent of retailers. Further, 45 percent of all companies hiring these low-cost workers are doing so more often now than they did prior to the recession.

Owners worried about their companies’ bottom lines and the way a rising minimum wage might impact it may want to consider the benefits of cutting costs, including those for small business insurance. For example, if they can slash their expenses for general liability insurance, they may be able to devote thousands annually to other aspects of their enterprises.