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What They Are Saying: Small business organizations speak out against Democrats' partisan minimum wage overhaul
Washington, February 25, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Yesterday, the House Small Business Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations, and Regulations held a hybrid hearing titled “Perspectives from Main Street: Raising the Wage” where Republican Members explained the negative impact a federal minimum wage mandate would have on our nation's small businesses. In addition to testimonials from small business owners across the country, several small business organizations submitted letters for the record detailing their opposition to this partisan, Democrat-led minimum wage overhaul.
What They Are Saying:
National Federation of Independent Business: “Like Chairman Phillips, NFIB is troubled that Congress is adding the minimum wage policy to the COVID relief package through reconciliation. At a time when small businesses are confronted with the worst pandemic in more than 100 years, Congress should not saddle them with a costly new mandate that will further damage the fragile economic recovery.”
National Restaurant Association: “The National Restaurant Association opposes the Raise the Wage Act of 2021 because it would raise the federal minimum wage from the current $7.25 to $15 per hour over five years and eliminate the tip credit for tipped employees. The restaurant industry needs time to recover, but at the same time, the National Restaurant Association and its members are ready to have a conversation about a balanced way to address wage levels in the foodservice industry and the unique impact any change would have on the economic recovery of its workers and restaurant operators.”
International Franchise Association: “While the country remains deeply divided, we strongly urge Congress to return to a bipartisan process to enact further relief legislation, which should prioritize the reauthorization and funding of critical small business relief programs and refrain from using the reconciliation process to enact an increase to the federal minimum wage. Our views are shared by more than 4,000 franchise advocates...”
U.S. Chamber of Commerce: "While you are holding this hearing, the U.S. House of Representatives is preparing to pass legislation that would increase the federal minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $15 per hour. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce opposes the $15 minimum wage hike because the mandate does not reflect a data-driven approach that incorporates wage-rate differences between business sectors and business locations."
Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council: “Even a phased-in approach to raising labor costs will have a harsh impact on small businesses, especially at a time when incoming revenues remain depressed and costs associated with operating during the pandemic are higher given the investment small firms are making in PPE, and other technologies to operate under shutdowns and in the ‘touchless economy.’”
American Farm Bureau Federation: “More than doubling the federal minimum wage while small businesses across America are barely surviving shutdowns due to an unprecedented pandemic is a recipe for more shuttered businesses and millions more job losses. On behalf of Main Street employers across America, we strongly oppose the Raise the Wage Act of 2021.”
National Association of Tobacco Outlets: “I am writing to submit our comments and concerns regarding the Raise the Wage Act, H.R. 603, which would over a short period of time more than double the federal minimum wage to $15.00 per hour and do away with the youth training wage, making the wage for the youngest, most inexperienced workers the same as that of other workers. Both policies will be devastating to the small businesses that comprise the greater part of NATO’s membership, and we respectfully request that you oppose any such effort.”
FreedomWorks: “The Raise the Wage Act will imperil the American dream for many who are just entering the workforce hoping to gain experience to move onto bigger and better things in their lives. We can’t rebuild the economy based on the platitudes of bad policy. We have to let businesses invest and expand without burdening them with mandates that will hurt workers and consumers.”
Americans for Tax Reform: “Imposing a drastic minimum wage hike during a pandemic-induced recession – which would kill millions of American jobs and eliminate thousands of small businesses – flies in the face of Congress’s stated goal of supporting small businesses and workers. While this drastic increase in labor costs would be disastrous in normal times, the impact would be even worse during a global pandemic.”
Council for Citizens Against Government Waste: “President Biden’s ‘American Rescue Plan,’ which is moving forward in the House and Senate under reconciliation, would more than double the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 an hour and eliminate the ‘tipped’ minimum wage for servers. This could not come at a more inappropriate time, as the Labor Department reported that unemployment claims were 861,000 last week, more than expected by analysts, indicating that recovery may take longer than expected.”
Missouri Farm Bureau Federation: “In addition to higher costs for employers, this legislation would further contribute to the labor shortage issues in many sectors of agriculture. While the legislation seeks to exempt some seasonal workers from the new requirements, in fact this measure compounds the problem by making agricultural jobs – some of which already pay a competitive rate higher than the minimum wage – less attractive to potential employees. In almost all cases, farmers operate on slim margins and adopting a one-size-fits-all approach to raising the minimum wage in an already struggling farm economy could jeopardize our farms and agribusinesses.”
Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association: “More than 934,000 of Florida’s 1.5 million hospitality employees were furloughed or laid off at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and have been clawing their way back to recovery ever since. Raising the federal minimum wage to $15/hour and eliminating the tip credit would obliterate our restaurants who have survived and will result in higher menu prices, increased automation, reduction in employee benefits, and job losses. The very livelihood or our tipped workers will be destroyed if small businesses are forced to absorb these higher labor costs."