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Opinion Poll: New York Small Businesses Support Higher Minimum Wages for Cities and Counties

Publisher: 
Small Business Majority
Date: 
Monday, 21 April, 2014

New York small business owners are still recovering from the Great Recession and doing everything they can to fortify their businesses, and with them, the economy. In order to grow and thrive, entrepreneurs need smart policies that help bolster their bottom lines and fuel the consumer demand that underpins economic success. They believe increasing the minimum wage will do this, and support granting cities and counties the authority to set higher minimum wages above the state level.

Key Findings

74% of New York small business owners support raising the minimum wage and indexing it to rise with the cost of living. 

Entrepreneurs agree cities and counties in New York should set and increase their own minimum wages above the state’s minimum wage to compensate for cost of living: Two-thirds of small business owners (66%) believe local economies should be allowed to set and increase their own minimum wage to supplement an increase in the state’s minimum wage in order to ensure it makes sense for local economies.

The vast majority of respondents pay all of their employees more than minimum wage: A sweeping 84% of small business owners surveyed do not pay any of their employees the minimum wage, currently $8.00 per hour in New York. Only 16% pay their employees the minimum wage.

Entrepreneurs overwhelmingly believe increasing the minimum wage will boost consumer demand for small businesses, helping them grow and hire: Nearly three-fourths of small business owners (72%) agree increasing the minimum wage would be good for small businesses, and that people will have a higher percentage of their income to spend on goods and services because low-wage earners tend to spend money at local businesses—which will be able to grow and hire new workers. Nearly half (45%) say raising the minimum wage would help make their business more competitive because competitors won’t be able to undercut them on labor costs.

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State(s): 
NY