According to an opinion poll released in March by the Small Business Majority (SBM), just over half of the small business owners surveyed support increasing the federal minimum wage to $10.10 from the current federal minimum wage of $7.25. The Minimum Wage Fairness Act (S.1737), which was introduced in the U.S. Senate in November 2013, would raise the minimum wage to $10.10 incrementally over a period of two years. The poll was conducted from February 18 – 25, 2014, by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research on behalf of SBM.
The survey found that 57 percent of the 500 small business owners surveyed support raising the federal minimum wage in three steps over two-and-a-half years to $10.10 and then adjusting it annually to keep pace with the cost of living. Support for increasing the minimum wage was bipartisan, with 47 percent identifying as Republican, 35 percent as Democrat, and 18 percent as independent.
Among the study’s other key findings:
- Eighty-two percent of small business owners surveyed pay their employees more than the minimum wage. Only 18 percent pay their employees the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.
- Fifty-two percent of small business owners agree that increasing the minimum wage would benefit small businesses and that “people will have a higher percentage of their income to spend on goods and services because low-wage earners tend to spend money at local businesses.
- Some 54 percent of those surveyed agreed that an increased minimum wage would allow people to afford basic necessities, thereby lessening the “pressure” on taxpayer-financed government assistance to make up for the low wages paid by some employers.