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Murray, Small Business Owners Discuss How the Raise the Wage Act Would Boost Local Economies, Increase Productivity

Murray: “Our economy should work for all families and small business owners…Raising the minimum wage is an important part of that work.”


Washington, D.C. – Today, Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) joined a call with small business owners across the country to discuss the Raise the Wage Act, Murray’s legislation that would increase the minimum wage to $12 by 2020. On the call, Murray outlined how the Raise the Wage Act would help small businesses by putting more money in the pockets of their customers, boosting productivity for workers, and providing increased certainty for business owners.

The legislation, which Murray introduced with Congressman Bobby Scott (D-VA), would also index the federal minimum wage to the median wage and gradually eliminate the subminimum tipped wage.


Key excerpts from Senator Murray’s remarks:

“Small businesses truly are the heart and soul of our economy. When I was growing up, my father ran a five and dime in my home town of Bothell—right on Main Street. Me and my six brothers and sisters learned a lot working with my dad behind that counter. Not just about the business, but about the community, about our neighbors, and about what it takes to keep a local economy strong.  So from the moment I got my start in politics, I have fought to make sure small business owners had a loud voice at the table—and that your priorities were being considered in every policy we took up.” 

“My economic philosophy is pretty straightforward. I believe we should be working on ways to grow the economy from the middle out, not the top down. And our economy should work for all families and small business owners, not just the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations. Raising the minimum wage is an important part of that work.”

“I introduced a bill to raise the minimum wage to $12 an hour by 2020, which would be enough to lift a family of three out of poverty. When I talk to business owners, I hear all the time about how they need more customers – they need more demand for their goods and services. Remember, the same workers who have to struggle day after day to make ends meet on $7.25 an hour are also consumers. Boosting their wages will put more money in their pockets, so they can spend in their communities to boost the local economy. That’s good for small businesses.”

“In addition to increasing demand, lifting the minimum wage can have other important business benefits. Studies have shown that increasing the minimum wage boosts productivity, which is good for the bottom line.  And it reduces turnover, which can save companies money on training and labor costs. I know another priority for small business owners is increased certainty. Phasing this bill in over five years is designed to give businesses the time they need to plan for the increase.”

“Raising the minimum wage to $12 by 2020 will help more families make ends meet, expand economic security, and help build an economy that works for all families, not just the wealthiest few. We know this will be good for small business owners—and I am so glad that we have such strong support across the country.”