Poponents of instituting a $12 minimum wage in Colorado reached a milestone today, when Colorado’s Secretary of State affirmed that enough valid signatures had been submitted to place the measure on November’s election ballot.
“Our coalition of business owners, workers and supporters is energized by the voters’ enthusiasm for our ballot initiative to raise the minimum wage to $12 by 2020,” said Lizeth Chacon, Colorado Families for a Fair Wage co-chair in a news release. “Raising the minimum wage is smart and fair. It’s smart because when working people have more money in their pockets, they spend it here in Colorado, boosting our economy and helping our communities thrive. It’s fair because people working full time should earn enough to support their families.”
Opponents have argued that increasing the minimum wage will cost the state jobs and will hurt small business.
“While large corporations in Denver can probably absorb the increased costs, it will be devastating to small and family-owned businesses, particularly in rural and less affluent communities in Colorado,” said Tyler Sandberg, a spokesman for Keep Colorado Working, told The Denver Post.
Proponents of the initiative, which would the mimum wage to $12 per hour by 2020, point to research showing that, accoring to a news release, “modest raises in the minimum wage like this proposal helps the economy by increasing consumer spending – and does not result in job loss in sectors most likely to hire minimum wage workers. Because low and middle-income workers are more likely to spend pay increases than higher paid workers, each $1/hour wage increase creates a ripple effect in spending, generating $1.20 in the local economy, potentially leading to further job growth.”
“We are solidly behind raising the minimum wage to $12 an hour by 2020 and we expect to be paying our own employees more than that by 2020. In our ten years of operation, we have seen results that show if we pay our staff higher wages, we have a better retention rate and we spend less money on hiring and training so we are able to keep our best employees and keep our high standards of service at the levels our customers expect. In turn, the business makes more money as we have a high number of loyal, repeat customers,” said Jeff Rogoff, co-owner of Sazza, a fast casual restaurant in Greenwood Village, said in a news release. “Even more important, we are giving our staff the ability to efficiently take care of their monthly bills and contribute to Colorado’s booming economy.”