According to a national poll commissioned by the American Sustainable Business Council and Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, small business owners favor raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 and adjusting it to keep up with the cost of living in future years. Also discovered is that business owners are considerably less partisan than Congress in weighing the issue. The federal minimum wage has been set at $7.25 since it was last increased five years ago in July 2009.
A strong 61 percent of small businesses support increasing the federal minimum wage to $10.10 in three stages over two and a half years, and then adjusting it annually to keep pace with the cost of living. This finding is higher than reported in previous small business polling, indicating growing support among small business owners for a $10.10 minimum wage.
Small business owners believe a higher minimum wage would benefit business in multiple ways: 58 percent say raising the minimum wage would increase consumer purchasing power. Another 56 percent say it would help the economy. In addition, 53 percent agree that with a higher minimum wage, businesses would benefit from lower employee turnover and increased productivity and customer satisfaction.
Small business support for raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 is strong across the country, with 67 percent of employers favoring it in the Northeast, 61 percent in the Midwest, 60 percent in the West and 58 percent in the South. Small business owners were found to be less partisan than Congress about raising the minimum wage. Republican small business owners were found to be evenly split with 49 percent against and 49 percent in favor. However, support was strongest among Democratic respondents, with 84 percent favoring, while independents favor the wage hike at a rate of 61 percent.