Albany (February 14, 2013) – Mike Durant, State Director for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), New York’s leading advocate for small business owners, today issued the following statement in response to a new minimum wage proposal by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver that would raise the rate to $9 per hour and attach an automatic annual increase tied to inflation:
“The current proposal which small business owners have been bracing themselves would be damaging enough. The plan offered today by Speaker Silver would be an absolute disaster.
“Make no mistake about this: President Obama’s plan has no chance to pass the Congress. So what Speaker Silver is proposing would put New York in a terribly uncompetitive position. We would immediately become an outlier in the country and a place for small businesses to avoid.
“It would be especially destructive in Upstate New York, where there are thousands of small businesses hanging by a thread in a stubbornly bad economy. And it would undermine everything that Governor Cuomo and other leaders are trying to achieve to resuscitate the Upstate economy.
“Ninety five percent of all employers pay more than the minimum wage already. So they don’t need moral supervision from Speaker Silver or President Obama. The five percent that pay the minimum wage are typically small businesses that can’t absorb a 24-percent increase in their labor costs.
“Small businesses have very little control over their other expenses. They can’t reduce their rent. They can’t reduce their utility costs. They can’t reduce their health insurance premiums. They can’t reduce the price of gas or the price of food. One of the only places they can cut is labor, and that’s exactly what will happen if Speaker Silver succeeds in driving up the cost of entry-level workers.”
For more information about NFIB, please visit www.nfib.com.