Survey: Small Businesses Back Wage Hikes

57% Support Raising Minimum Wage To $10.10

Minimum Wage HikeAmid reports that the Obama administration is directing the Labor Department to force American companies to pay more to employees in overtime, a new survey shows that small business owners are in favor of the previously proposed minimum-wage hikes for American workers. The poll, released this week by the Small Business Majority, found that 57% of small business owners support raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 and adjusting it yearly to reflect the cost of living.

Further, 35% respondents believe that raising the minimum wage would help make their business more competitive because competitors won’t be able to undercut them on labor costs. Eighty-two percent revealed they already pay their employees more than the federal minimum wage.

With support like this from U.S. business owners, President Obama is going further today by changing regulations that would require overtime pay for several million additional fast-food managers, loan officers, computer technicians and others who are currently classified as "executive or professional" employees by their companies to avoid paying them overtime. "We need to fix the system so folks working hard are getting compensated fairly," said Cecilia Muñoz, the director of the White House Domestic Policy Council. "That's why we are jump-starting this effort."

People in the ad specialty industry have mixed reactions to the Obama administration’s initiatives to increase the minimum wage and change the rules on overtime pay. “If businesses are forced to pay more, it will hurt their business in the near term,” said Greg Muzzillo, founder of Proforma (asi/300094). “Surely, this has to impact marketing budgets.”

Others, though, believe that the measures would help to increase the motivation and productivity of employees. “I think this can help because it forces companies to find efficiencies and also keeps employees motivated with an instant raise,” said Jeff Lederer, president of Prime Line (asi/79530). “Higher compensation tends to lead to better productivity, so while this will raise overhead, we do believe the overall impact will be positive,” said Tej Shah, vice president of marketing & e-commerce for Overture Premiums & Promotions (asi/288473).