Main Street business owners across the country are proud to stand with our partners in Oakland at EBASE to support Measure FF & Lift Up Oakland — raising the minimum wage and increasing access to paid sick days.
Rising income inequality is the moral and economic challenge of our time. Main Street business owners understand that small business success is directly tied to the economic vitality of the communities in which they do business. The increasing wealth gap not only harms low-income people; it also creates a death spiral of falling demand that hurts small businesses.
We know that consumer demand drives the Main Street economy. Our employees are our neighbor’s customers and when workers have more money, businesses have more customers. With more customers businesses can hire more workers, which in turn generates more customers. In this virtuous cycle, increasing economic security for workers provides a boost to the bottom line of local small businesses.
Every job should be an economy-boosting job, and means family-wage jobs and access to basic workplace standards like paid sick days. We all get sick, but not all of us have the time to recover—and it affects us all. By allowing our employees to earn paid sick days, small business owners increase productivity and save money in the long run. Employees who come to work sick are less productive and recover more slowly. They’re also likely to spread illness to co-workers, which reduces productivity and increases absenteeism. Earned sick days also help to retain good employees and keep turnover costs low.
At The Main Street Alliance, we’re excited that there’s growing support for common sense workplace policies and raising the minimum wage. Together, we can help redefine “good business practices” and lift up the real voices of small business owners.