As a local business owner, I fully support an increase in the minimum wage to $12 per hour by 2020. This ballot initiative is a modest but good way to start making an economy that works for everyone, employers and employees alike.
Phased in over four years, small businesses like mine will have time to adjust and adapt. I want our employees to be able to afford rent, mortgages, groceries and what our other local businesses are selling, as well. That’s smart because it’s a win for our worker, a win for our business and a win for the local economy.
The reality is wages haven’t kept up with the cost of living – especially housing – and hardworking families can’t get by on take-home pay of less than $300 a week, what a full-time minimum wage worker earns. I’m proud to say that my employees are already paid so they can afford the basics like rent and groceries without having to rely on public assistance because I don’t believe it’s right to expect taxpayers to subsidize our payroll. (Full disclosure: UltraSteam belongs to Thrive Living Wage Coalition, but we were already well within their guidelines before we joined.)
Cities and states that have raised the minimum wage have experienced stable employment, thriving businesses and workers who can not only make ends meet but also spend that extra money locally, boosting the economy for everyone.
Raising the minimum wage is good for business and fair for workers, and I urge Durango residents to vote “Yes” on Amendment 70.