Maryland’s current minimum wage, at $10.10 per hour, is well above the federal minimum wage standard of $7.25 per hour. There has been legislation introduced before the General Assembly that would raise Maryland’s minimum wage to $15 per hour.
The business community agrees that this raise would drastically alter the price of doing business, especially for smaller organizations. In response to these changes, businesses would create solutions to cut their costs by cutting positions. Our legislators need to focus alternatively, on creating quality workforce development and education opportunities to fill the skills gap in industries where workers are most needed.
Cost to small business – real examples from Maryland Chamber of Commerce members (2018)
Cost to employees and programs
Cost to consumers
Rise in difficulty to find entry-level work
Too fast too soon
With a rapid increase in minimum wage, businesses need to continuously adjust their pay structure. Minimum wage doesn’t only call for an increase in wages to those making the least. In order to retain talent, businesses need to increase the wages for all levels of expertise. Doing so year after year calls for even more job cuts in order to continue operation.
Competitiveness is key
Maryland’s surrounding states all have lower minimum wages.
In order to remain competitive and attract businesses to Maryland, the cost of doing business in the state needs to be achievable. With the recent loss of Amazon HQ2 to VA and NY, Maryland legislators need to be aware of how costly it is for businesses to operate in the state. Increasing the minimum wage even further above the surrounding states will continue to lower our level of competitiveness and put Maryland at a regional disadvantage.
We feel Maryland must support legislation that encourages job creation, fosters innovation, expands workforce development and talent pipeline initiatives and strengthens the overall business climate in the state. Increasing Maryland’s status as a great state for business is of utmost importance and attracting new businesses to operate or expand in Maryland will position the state for economic success. The negative impacts of raising the minimum wage to $15 will cut jobs and create significant barriers to employment, especially for low-skill workers. This will inevitably make it more difficult for long-term success and earning potential.
Vote against an increase in minimum wage
MEMBERS: Read our $15 Minimum Wage Advocacy Kit to activate your voice in the Fight against Fifteen.
JOIN US THIS FRIDAY: Register to testify this week with the Maryland Chamber, click here.
ADDITIONAL CRITICAL ISSUES
The Maryland Chamber is also focused on legislation impacting small businesses.
The recent bill, State Government Regulations Impacting Small Businesses (SB 173/HB 157), aims to reform Maryland’s regulatory process in order to reduce regulatory burdens on small businesses. This bill requires state agencies to:
If passed, this legislation will make it easier for small business to have input on the regulations that affect them. It will also allow them to comply with regulations more easily through clear explanation new regulations, improve the quality of small business economic impact analyses, and shift the emphasis of enforcing regulations from being punitive to helping small businesses comply.
Please download the bill summary from the Maryland Department of Commerce to learn more.