By John Swanciger of Manta
California and New York recently passed laws to eventually raise their state minimum wages to $15 — landmark decisions that many see as harbingers for a nationwide minimum wage hike. The possibility has small business owners wondering how this shift might affect their operations and employee headcount.
(Photo courtesy of John Swanciger)
As it turns out, just over half of small business owners don’t view a minimum wage hike as a roadblock to success. According to a recent Manta poll, 51 percent are in favor of a higher minimum wage, demonstrating that small business owners aren’t conforming to the opposition from business groups and chambers of commerce. Perhaps just as notable, of those who favor an increase, half support a $15 per hour pay rate.
In fact, Manta’s research indicates that many small business owners already pay their employees above required minimums. A previous poll reveals 40 percent of small business owners pay entry-level employees “far above” the required minimum wages in their states while 38 percent pay “slightly above” the minimum wage. Just 14 percent said they pay state or local minimum wages that are above the federal minimum of $7.25.
It’s clear that small business owners see value in an increased minimum wage. Here are a few benefits business owners would reap from a minimum wage hike:
1. Talent Acquisition And Employee Retention
By offering attractive wages and compensation packages, small business owners can establish a successful recruitment program while retaining top talent. The best employees are often those who develop strong relationships with customers — a business enabler that small businesses can preserve by providing these valuable employees higher pay.
2. Meet Industry Specialization Requirements
For some small business owners, their decision to pay above minimum wage comes down to specialization. Because companies in industries like health care or technology must employ individuals with specific skill sets, some business owners find it’s necessary to pay well above minimum wage in order to attract quality employees. As an added bonus, small business owners can ensure they remain competitive in their industries by employing highly skilled workers.
3. Increased Demand And Consumer Spending
Beyond the direct benefits to small business owners and their employees, an increased minimum wage would allow low-income individuals to spend more money on things like gas, food, retail and housing. This increased demand for goods and services could ignite a spark in the economy and pave the way for even more positive opportunities for small businesses.
Like any new regulation, upping the minimum wage comes with its share of concerns (like the need to reduce staff or increase prices) that small business owners should address as they navigate the shift.
As election season rages on, there is still plenty of uncertainty around the federal minimum wage. But for now, business owners should gear up for change and be ready to tackle any obstacles presented by a minimum wage increase. By keeping in mind the benefits outlined above, small business owners can effectively navigate any changes that come their way.
John Swanciger is a seasoned technology executive with vast experience in team building, product marketing and strategic partner development. As CEO, he leads Manta to strengthen its current offerings, while expanding products and services for a growing customer base of small business owners. John brings more than 15 years of industry experience working with high-growth business-to-business and business-to-consumer companies, including Accenture, Hotwire and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. Most recently, he was responsible for product marketing, sales, business development and partner relations as Switchfly’s chief commercial officer. John is a board director at Liftopia and received a bachelor’s degree in finance from Boston College.
The views, opinions and positions expressed within this guest post are those of the authors alone and do not represent those of CBS Small Business Pulse or the CBS Corporation. The accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this article are verified solely by the authors.