Business Groups, Small Business Owners Applaud Passage of Amendment 70

For Immediate Release: 
Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Colorado Black Chamber of Commerce, Small Business Majority, and Colorado small business owners say approval of Amendment 70 will bolster the state’s economy and small firms

Denver—Coloradans have approved Amendment 70, which will increase Colorado’s minimum wage to $12 by 2020. Colorado business leaders and small employers believe this is a step in the right direction for Colorado’s small businesses and economy, because small business owners believe raising the minimum wage will stoke consumer demand and grow the economy.

In fact, Small Business Majority’s scientific opinion polling found 60 percent of small business owners nationwide support gradually raising the minimum wage to $12 per hour by 2020 and adjusting it annually to keep pace with the cost of living. Additionally, 56 percent of small businesses in the retail and restaurant industries combined support raising the minimum wage to $12.

Here’s what local business leaders and small employers had to say about passage of Amendment 70:

“Entrepreneurs need smart policies that help bolster their bottom lines and fuel the consumer demand that underpins economic success,” said Tim Gaudette, Colorado Outreach Manager for Small Business Majority. “Small business owners know raising the minimum wage would immediately put more money in the pocket of low-wage workers who will then spend the money on things like housing, food and gas. This boost in demand for goods and services will help stimulate Colorado’s economy and create opportunities for growth and expansion.”

“We believe that an improved minimum wage can be a stepping stone to transcending poverty—an increased baseline income will empower Coloradans to spend more time furthering their education and planting the seeds for entrepreneurship,” said Lee Gash-Maxey, Executive Director of the Colorado Black Chamber of Commerce. “The wage increase will be a welcomed relief for many workers in light of Colorado’s dramatically rising cost of living. From a business perspective, increasing the minimum wage would likely result in a consumer spending surge, as people receiving a bump in pay at the lower end of the wage scale tend to put a much higher percentage of the increase back into local commerce. A recent University of Denver study found that a $12 minimum wage would likely cause job growth, among other economic benefits to the state.”

“I voted in support of Amendment 70 because I believe raising Colorado’s minimum wage will increase spending power for low-wage workers, benefitting our economy overall,” said Chia Basinger, owner of Sweet Action Ice Cream in Denver. “At Sweet Action Ice Cream, we saw firsthand that paying higher wages led to our employees spending more money at local businesses, funneling money back into our economy. Raising Colorado’s minimum wage will give a boost to small businesses like mine and local economies.”

“As a small business owner with lower-wage employees, I support raising Colorado’s minimum wage because this will strengthen our workforce and our economy,” said Cynthia Camble, owner of C Enterprises in Colorado Springs. “I choose to pay higher than the current minimum wage because my employees are my greatest asset. I don’t want them to worry about how they’re getting by while at work—that’s s a distraction that can cause mistakes, and mistakes cost money. Having employees who are focused on their jobs creates a more productive environment, which actually increases profits. And by raising the minimum wage across the board, this will level the playing field for small businesses like mine that are already paying higher than the minimum, and will provide an economic boost to our area.”

“A universal higher wage has an economic benefit: By putting more money in the hands of low-income workers, a higher wage increases local spending at small businesses like mine,” said Tracy duCharme, owner of Color Me Mine in Colorado Springs. “Because low-income workers are likely to spend extra income close to home, this impact can be large. In fact, a study from the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank actually found that raising the wage by $1.75 would increase household spending by about $48 billion the following year. I fully expect that some of that spending to happen in my store! That alone will help to offset the higher wages I will be paying.”

To schedule an interview with Tim Gaudette or small business owners, please contact Cassie Mills at (303) 223-6335 or [email protected]

About Small Business Majority
Small Business Majority
 was founded and is run by small business owners to focus on solving the biggest problems facing small businesses today. Since 2005, we have actively engaged small business owners and policymakers in support of public policy solutions, and have delivered information and resources to entrepreneurs that promote small business growth and drive a strong economy. We regularly engage our network of 50,000 small business owners, along with a formal strategic partnership program of nearly 150 business organizations, enabling us to reach more than 500,000 entrepreneurs. Our extensive scientific polling, focus groups and economic research help us educate and inform policymakers, the media and other stakeholders about key issues impacting small businesses and freelancers, including access to capital, taxes, healthcare, retirement, entrepreneurship and workforce development. Learn more about us on our website and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

About the Colorado Black Chamber of Commerce
The Colorado Black Chamber’s mission is to support the ideas of Black business owners and create an organization that focuses on the success of our members.

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