Small-business owners are looking for an increase in the minimum wage, as it’ll grow their businesses and allow them to compete with the big boys in town.
This is especially true in New York, where a recently poll found that 66 percent of small-business owners said they were in favor of a plan to give cities and counties the capability of setting a standard minimum wage, according to the Legislative Gazette.
"Small businesses know that decent wages are a smart investment — and that poverty-level wages at major companies like Wal-Mart and McDonald's unfairly drain local communities and businesses of the spending power needed to sustain economic growth," said Tsedeye Gebreselassie, staff attorney at the National Employment Law Project (NELP), to the Legislative Gazette. "With wide variations in the cost of living throughout New York State, it only makes sense for Albany to empower cities and counties to set higher minimum wages that reflect local economic conditions."
But it’s not just New York.
Jay Porter, who ran a restaurant in San Diego called The Linkery and will soon run Salsipuedes in North Oakland, Calif., wrote an article for Slate in which he supported raising the minimum wage.
“As a small business owner in the restaurant industry, I think a higher minimum wage is great for my business and me,” Porter wrote. “Make the wage $15 an hour. Make it $20. Make it high enough that dishwashers get paid like office workers.”
And Porter’s reason is simple: "A higher minimum wage helps reduce the structural advantages large corporations have over small businesses, and that in turn helps create a context where high-quality independent businesses can thrive by overdelivering compared to our better-capitalized, but mediocre, big competitors," he wrote.
For example, a local restaurant would have to work its staff extremely hard to get the same amount of dollars that a weak franchise food chain could earn.
“The issue isn’t that those companies are selling the same things we are for less," Porter wrote. "The issue is that the low-priced commodities sold by superstores, warehouse clubs and restaurant chains influence our customers’ understanding of what everything costs.”
But is raising the minimum wage the only option?
The Small Business Administration just made it a little easier for small businesses to grab loans, something that was never very easy, the Washington Post reported.
“In large part, the revisions are meant to simplify the application process for small-business borrowers and give banks more flexibility in the way they structure their loan products,” the Post reported.
Some of the revisions the SBA made also include giving businesses more time. Previously, businesses would have a nine-month period to secure a loan. But that’ll change now, even though it is still a tricky situation.
Ann Marie Mehlum, who leads the SBA’s office of capital access, is looking to “expand program eligibility and improve access to capital for small businesses.”