Nearly 200 Colorado business owners and executives signed a statement supporting Amendment 70, which would gradually raise the state’s minimum wage from $8.31 to $12 by 2020.
The Colorado Business for a Fair Minimum Wage announcement says the business leaders support the initiative because “it’s good for business, customers, and our local economy.” They’re confident that when Colorado workers have more money to spend, sales will go up at local businesses.
The announcement featured testimonials from small business owners all over the state explaining why they support Amendment 70.
Dan Shannon, who owns Gary’s Auto Service in Denver, said that “workers earning a living wage participate more fully in our economy as consumers, and that is good for business.”
Many of these Colorado business owners also adamantly cite a higher employee retention rate as an incentive to raise wages.
Richard Skorman, who owns a number of Colorado Springs businesses, including Poor Richard’s Restaurant, said that when he raised wages, he actually cut labor costs because of lower employee turnover. “The longer they stay, the better they are at their jobs, and the money we save on training new employees is huge.”
Boulder Transport founder Carlos Alvarez-Aranyos, who cited moral reasons for raising wages, said that “paying people well is about endowing their humanity — allowing them to exist comfortably and to dedicate themselves with equal passion to their jobs and their lives.”
The campaign against Amendment 70 has perpetuated the narrative that small businesses wouldn’t be able to afford a minimum wage hike.
The statement businesses backing the measure also challenged the opposition’s claim that Amendment 70 would raise unemployment, nodding to the body of evidence that shows it wouldn’t result in significant job losses. It also argued that a wage increase means low-income Coloradans would rely less on government assistance to get by.
Amendment 70 recently received support from economists, as well.