The Job Creators Network (JCN), a small business advocacy group, panned a proposed bipartisan minimum wage hike as harmful to small businesses in a letter submitted to all 100 United States senators Monday.
JCN CEO Alfredo Ortiz wrote that “raising the minimum wage will cause even more damage” to “small businesses … already suffering from the worst pandemic in a century.” Republican Utah Sen. Mitt Romney and Democratic Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema unveiled a proposal April 14 that would raise the minimum wage to $11 an hour.
“Almost one–third of small businesses have reduced their work forces due to the pandemic and 51 percent of small businesses reported year–over–year sales declines in January,” Ortiz wrote, citing Facebook’s Global State of Small Business report.
Ortiz further argued that Amazon and other large conglomerates support raising the minimum wage “because they know it will harm their small business competitors.” Amazon and Walmart supported raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, as they already pay their employees more than that. Sinema was one of seven Democratic senators to vote against that hike. (RELATED: Costco To Raise Minimum Wage To $16, But Won’t Advocate Nationwide Federal Increase)
Romney introduced a bill alongside Republican Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton that would have raised the minimum wage to $10 an hour and required employers to use E-Verify in an effort to crack down on the employment of illegal immigrants. That bill has not made it out of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Minimum wage hikes disproportionately impact small and medium-sized businesses because of their low profit margins.
“What Senators Romney and Sinema are proposing is the largest increase in the federal minimum wage in history. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that a $11 minimum wage would cost up to 600,000 jobs and a $15 minimum wage would cost up to 2.7 million jobs,” Ortiz told the Daily Caller.
“Many small businesses are hanging on by their fingernails because of the pandemic and government-imposed lockdowns. This is bad policy and even worse timing with small businesses recovering from one of the worst years in history. JCN is fully mobilizing against it.”