Consider small business impact

By From page A6 | April 10, 2014

I am a small business owner. The core value system of my company includes the importance of paying high wages, offering valuable experience and teaching skills to my young employees. My company believes in building community, empowering young workers and supporting small, local businesses.

I support the minimum wage increases that are already scheduled by the state of California and proposed by the president of the United States, but I do not support a localized minimum wage that inevitably will put our community at an economic disadvantage.

I do not support the $15-per-hour minimum wage initiative petition that is being circulated and my company has not and will not provide any services to the organizers of that initiative. I have spoken with several of my fellow small business owners (some of whom are my clients) and they are, without exception, fearful that they will have to close their doors, lay off employees and/or drastically increase prices if the minimum wage is almost doubled in the course of one year.

The issue of livable wages is macro-economic in scale, but this proposed initiative does not recognize the unintended consequences on our small community. This topic has lacked the necessary community dialogue and thorough research that is a hallmark of the Davis political process. Labor costs are generally 20 to 40 percent of a company’s total revenue. How would your family fare if your expenses were to increase 30 percent next year?

If passed, this initiative would have a devastating effect on our local economy with lost jobs, closed businesses, decreased sales tax revenue to the city and higher prices for goods, food and services.

It is irresponsible to not engage with our local employers and citizens before circulating such a radical proposal. It feels like political banditry and I cannot support any activist who can’t take the time to engage with their community on such a complex issue.

I will not be signing this petition. I urge my fellow citizens to please speak with the owners of your favorite small local businesses and ask them how they would be affected by a $15-per-hour minimum wage before signing this petition.

Kari Fry
Managing partner, The Centaur Group, LLC

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