A majority of the owners of very small businesses are in favor of increases in the minimum wage, according to a survey by Manta, a small business consultant based in Columbus, Ohio.
Fifty-nine percent of the 2,409 business owners surveyed say they are in favor of a higher minimum wage, says Manta, which defines small businesses as those with nine or fewer employees.
This favorable response comes despite the opposition of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other state and local chambers to increase the wage. Federal law requires employees be paid $7.25 an hour. State laws vary. New York and California recently passed laws to phase in an increase to $15 per hour.
Many small business owners already pay their employees something higher than the minimum wage. Forty percent say they pay entry-level employees “far above” the required wage in their state; 38 percent report paying “slightly above” minimum wage, and 14 percent pay state or local wages that are above the $7.25 hourly wage required under federal law, according to the survey.
The views of political candidates on the minimum wage influence small business owners’ voting decisions, says Manta. Fifty-nine percent say they would be “more likely to vote for a state or national candidate who supports a minimum wage increase.”
Of those who say they would need to make adjustments to meet higher minimum wage requirements, 39 percent would charge more for goods and services, 33 percent would reduce staff and 27 percent say they would cut employees’ hours.