Maryland Chamber members unite again against $15 minimum wage

(February 21, 2019 – ANNAPOLIS, Md.) Opponents of Maryland’s $15 minimum wage showed up in full-force today to testify against raising the state’s minimum wage. More than 40 Maryland Chamber of Commerce members came to Annapolis to share the stories of how this bill, if passed, will impact their livelihoods.

Teri Leiter from Leiters’ Fine Catering shared with WBAL TV 11 News that she will have to expend “$150,000 extra per year,” if SB 280 passes, and that’s just on her minimum wage employees. Her other employees will have to be compensated additionally as well, costing her even more.

Her only two options if the minimum wage is raised? “Move, or close my doors,” Leiter said.

West Virginia is one mile to the south, Virginia is 20 miles away, and Pennsylvania is 15 miles north. Unless Leiter wants to close shop, she has plenty of choices of states to move to keep her business afloat.

What about increasing her food prices? Leiter said, “We’re already on the higher end for Western Maryland.”

Higher prices won’t keep her competitive and sending less staff to events will only negatively impact the quality of service.

At the Senate Office Building, 140 other individuals showed up to testify unfavorably on this bill, exceeding the 93 requesting a favorable report and the 15 who will report favorably with amendments.

Heidi Shadel, MBA, owner of ATR Advantage, a payroll company representing many small businesses said, “I need to make it clear that I am not against a fair minimum wage, but what I am against is the loss of jobs to our communities that small businesses provide. These small businesses [here] share the same concerns.”

SB 280 is not a one size fits all bill. Small and medium businesses stressed that it is not an option they are able to afford.

The impact a $15 minimum wage would have is devastating to business, ultimately hurting Maryland’s economy.  The Maryland Chamber urges the General Assembly to vote unfavorably on SB 280.



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