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Opinion Poll: Small Businesses Support Increasing the Minimum Wage to $10.10

Publisher: 
Small Business Majority
Date: 
Thursday, 6 March, 2014

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 communities across the country, it is the jobs small businesses provide and the consumers they serve that keep our recovery moving. 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 federal minimum wage will help do this. Scientific opinion polling shows entrepreneurs support increasing the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour because it will enhance consumer spending, which can increase the demand for small firms’ good and services and boost their businesses’ bottom lines while strengthening the economy.

Main Findings

The majority of small business owners support increasing the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour and adjusting it yearly to reflect the cost of living: 57% of small business owners support increasing the federal minimum wage of $7.25 in three stages over two and a half years to $10.10, and believe that it should be adjusted annually to keep pace with the cost of living.

The majority of small business owners support raising the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour and adjusting it annually to keep pace with the cost of living

The majority of small business owners in the retail and restaurant industries combined support increasing the minimum wage: 61% of small business owners in the retail and restaurant industries combined support increasing the federal minimum wage of $7.25 in three stages over two and a half years to $10.10, and believe that it should be adjusted annually to keep pace with the cost of living.

The vast majority of respondents pay all of their employees more than minimum wage: A sweeping 82% of small business owners surveyed do not pay any of their employees the federal minimum wage of $7.25. Only 18% pay their employees the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.

More than half of entrepreneurs believe increasing the minimum wage will boost consumer demand for small businesses, helping them grow and hire: 52% of small business owners 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. More than a third (35%) say raising the minimum wage would help make their business more competitive because competitors won’t be able to undercut them on labor costs.

Small businesses agree raising minimum wage would decrease the pressure on taxpayer-financed government assistance to make up for low wages: 54% agree that increasing the minimum wage would allow people to afford basic necessities and decrease the pressure on taxpayer-financed government assistance to make up for the low wages paid by some employers, and say it’s not right that people working full time earn just $15,080 a year at the minimum wage—significantly lower than it was in the 1960s, adjusting for inflation.

Respondents lean Republican: 47% identified as Republican, 35% as Democrat and 18% as independent or other. 

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State(s): 
National