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Opinion: I own a small business — this is what a $15 minimum wage means for me critical Updated: might 15, 2021 in ~ 4:15 p.m. ET first Published: may 11, 2021 at 11:39 a.m. ET
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After chairman Biden required federal building contractors to salary a $15 minimum wage and Rhode Island inched closer to its own mandate, small-business owners held their breath. Congress is again most likely to think about hiking the commonwealth minimum wage, now $7.25, affecting the public and also private sectors alike.

You are watching: Can small businesses afford $15 minimum wage

There is a popular mandate because that a $15 commonwealth minimum wage. Nearly two-thirds of Americans support the wage increase, encompass 40% that “strongly” ago the proposal. In Florida, voter passed one amendment critical November come raise the minimum wage, now $8.56, come $15 in 2026; it moves to $10 in September.


Relying top top vague terms such as “entrepreneurship,” “small government,” and also “individual liberty,” republicans are losing the messaging battle. Wage-hike opponents have continuously failed to conceptualize the real-world impact—beyond the “red meat” talk points—of a $15 mandatory minimum.

While many Americans support the move, many Americans likewise don’t know how small businesses work. It is, ~ all, the small-business owner that will be afflicted with the cost of a $15 commonwealth minimum wage, not the Biden administration.

As a small-business owner, below are the numbers: I freshly sought to rental an employee come answer phones because that my Florida-based real-estate firm. The hrs would it is in from 11 a.m. Come 7 p.m., Monday with Friday. Three civilization responded to my task posting. One was currently making $15 an hour on joblessness (a difficulty in itself); he said it would just be worth his time if I would certainly pay $25 per hour. However, $25 an hour is in reality closer come $29 every hour, as soon as you factor in Social protection (FICA) taxes and other employment costs. Ns would likewise need come take right into account paid vacation time, 401(k) contributions and health insurance allowance expenses.

Others claimed “I deserve to make much more from residence doing nothing” and also “I’m not doing any type of work for $15 every hour.”

Read: U.S. Project openings soar to document 8.1 million, however businesses speak they can’t find enough employees to hire

Let’s speak the cost is “only” $15 per hour. Also then, i would end up paying much more than $20 an hour every employee, v taxes and also benefits taken into account. Then what about the indirect prices of hiring, such as offering an office room or offering food and also beverages?

In annual terms, a $20 all-in hourly minimum fairy (on the conservative side) comes out to almost $42,000 per year. Doesn’t sound rather as manageable, right?

By following a $15 minimum wage, i would basically be required to compete with the federal government and also artificially raise my organization costs, also if the revenue stream isn’t there to justify it. In my case, I would be forced to do one of two things: get rid of the phone-answering place altogether and also pass ~ above the responsibility to my current team members or automate the job by automating the phone call system.


The find to to fill my current job opening has gone on for almost a month, and I still haven’t found anyone. Agents – and my retired mommy – prize the phones instead.

On both the employer and employee end of the spectrum, it is a lose-lose for everyone involved. If the place is happen on to other team members, those employees may come to be overburdened. If it is automated, a job is lost. Climate you have the customer, who may finish up paying higher prices because that the exact same level that service.

From January: Yellen says increasing minimum fairy to $15 would have ‘minimal’ influence on jobs, yet nonpartisan Congressional budget Office disagrees

Of course, ns am not opposed come bearing high labor costs. Ns am successful because of my workers. Human capital means everything come a small-business owner.

But the economics of a $15 commonwealth minimum wage simply don’t work-related for tiny businesses choose mine. And also I’m not alone: If Congress moves ahead through the proposal, one-third of small businesses anticipate laying turn off workers. More than one million jobs may be in ~ stake.

Congress, operation the minimum-wage numbers. Lock don’t include up.

See more: Cable Tv News Ratings Nielsen Morning Shows, Week Of Oct

Joseph Semprevivo is the owner and also manager of Joseph’s Premier genuine Estate in Vero Beach, Fla., and also is one adjunct professor of finance, business, actual estate and also insurance in ~ Indian flow State university in fort Pierce. The is also the previous state economic breakthrough commissioner of brand-new Mexico.

Also read: it’s not simply teenagers—millions of workers over 55 earn minimum wage

And: Chipotle raises pay, states it deserve to offer workers the possibility for a six-figure value in 3 1/2 years

Barron’s: U.S. Minimum wages Have already Jumped—With Minimal costs to Business