New report examines impact of Earned Sick & Safe ordinances nationwide
On Tuesday, January 12th, The Main Street Alliance of Minnesota hosted a conference call with members of the media to discuss a new report examining the economic impact of earned sick day policies in cities nationwide.
Minneapolis businesses joined business owners in Jersey City, NJ and Portland, OR, who shared their experiences implementing sick days, and discussed the impact of local ordinances on the economy.
The report uses data from a recent analysis from the National Partnership for Women and Families analyzing the costs and benefits of earned sick day ordinances to businesses and economy in five cities and one state.
Minneapolis small business owners discussed their perspectives about the proposal for earned sick and safe time currently being considered and studied by 19 member Workplace Partnership Group organized by the city.
Speakers on the call included:
Vicki Shabo, National Partnership for Women and Families
Tony Sandkamp, owner of Sandkamp Woodworks, Jersey City, NJ
Shaun Sieren, owner of Biddy McGraw's, Portland, OR
Dan Ogiba, owner of Toppers Pizza, multiple locations
Dan Stenton-Klatt, owner of Butter Bakery Cafe, Minneapolis, MN
Julie Kearns, owner of Junket: Tossed & Found, Minneapolis MN
A copy of the report can be viewed and downloaded here
1163 business owners were surveyed through one on one interviews in nine states. This diverse group of businesses was surveyed in both rural and urban settings on issues including; Tax Fairness, Paid Sick Days, Paid Family Leave, Minimum Wage, and Economic Development Incentives. Business sizes vary from 1 to 100+ employees, with the majority below 25 employees.
THE ECONOMY & TAXES
- Increasing consumer demand is what is needed most to create more jobs and get the economy back on track. Most small business owners report that more customers will help them to create more jobs, not having lower taxes or fewer regulations.
- Big corporations should pay more taxes. They strongly support closing corporate tax loopholes. The majority of respondents said big corporations are paying less than their fair share of taxes. A strong majority responded that corporate tax loopholes are hurting their businesses and see closing corporate tax loopholes as a necessary revenue-raising opportunity, to be prioritized before making further budget cuts.
- Economic development incentives aren’t working for small businesses. Most small business owners surveyed responded either that economic development incentives are giveaways to big business or that they had little to no knowledge or experience with them, with a vast majority never having accessed any.
"It is extremely difficult to compete with large corporations and their ability to dodge their tax responsibility is a huge reason for that."
Maurice Rahming, O'Neill Electic, Portland, OR
JOB QUALITY & WORKPLACE ISSUES
- Paid family leave. While a majority don’t currently offer paid family leave, most small business owners surveyed support a national paid family and medical leave program.
- Earned paid sick days. While just over half don’t currently offer earned paid sick days to their employees, a majority of small business owners surveyed support a national earned paid sick days policy, like the Healthy Families Act.
- Raising the minimum wage. An overwhelming majority believe that anyone working full-time deserves to be out of poverty.
"We support a plan for workers that provides at least a minimum standard of paid time off so that everyone can balance work, family, and their health."
Randy George, Red Hen Baking Co., Middlesex, VT
Read the report here: Paid Sick Time in Oregon, March 2015
On Monday December 15th, Main Street Alliance of Vermont held a press conference and reception to announce their 2015 legislative platform and to release a report of survey findings from a statewide small business survey conducted this past summer and fall.
Dozens of Main Street Alliance coalition members and several legislators were present at the event. Speakers included former Governor Madeline Kunin; Trudy Trombley, MSA member and owner of Truly Trudy's Cosmetics in Stowe and The Boutique at Stowe Mercantile; Stephanie Hainley, MSA member and COO of White and Burke Real Estate Investment Advisors; Representative Jill Krowsinki and Senator Philip Baruth, lead sponsors of this year's Earned Leave bill; Peter Sterling, Director of Vermont Leads, and Andrew Savage, Chief Strategy Office at All Earth Renewables.
Trombley and Hainley reported key findings from the survey, highlighting that out of all businesses surveyed, 49% support establishing a minimum standard of earned leave and just under 60% support moving forward with a universal, publicly financed healthcare system in Vermont.
See the links below for media coverage from the event:
VT Digger (Article) My Champlain Valley (Article & Video) Times Argus (Article) WPTZ (Article & Video)
Women and working family issues addressed in new State of Main Street report
Portland, OR - This morning, Main Street Alliance of Oregon leaders, Deborah Field, co-owner of Paperjam Press, and Sara Howe and Christy Cushing, co-owners of Howe Innovative Design, met with Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici to release the new survey report, State of Main Street. This report challenges conventional perceptions of small business owners’ thoughts on key policy issues. It details responding business owners’ views on key issues facing Oregon and the nation.Sara Howe, Christy Cushing, Deborah Field, Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici, Stephen Michael, and Sean Place. Photo credit: Kristin Rasmussen, Dist. Rep for Suzanne Bonamici (left to right)
Oregon small business owners are supportive of giving Oregon working families a fair shot—real opportunities to succeed and prosper with policies like basic standards for paid sick days as well as safe, secure, and effective retirement savings vehicles for small business owners and their employees. Women small business owners and business owners of color are particularly supportive of these policies. There is a clear call from the small business community that it’s time to rethink the “business as usual” agendas promoted by Big Business and special interest groups. We need to move towards understanding the whole picture of how our businesses interact with the communities we serve.
“Small businesses are a critical part of Oregon’s economy, especially in rural areas. Policies that support small businesses help create economic security and stability for working Oregonians. These policies include access to capital for those who want to start a new business, quality education, stable housing, and affordable health care,” Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici said. “When families earn a living wage, can take paid leave, and do not struggle to pay for child care, they are more likely to succeed and thrive. The Main Street Alliance report recognizes that these policies are good for small businesses because they lead to healthier families, a stronger local work force, increased consumer spending, and ultimately a stronger local economy.”
“As we continue to recover from this recession, I am committed to helping small businesses remain competitive in today’s market,” said Congressman Earl Blumenauer. “This report, issued by The Main Street Alliance of Oregon, clearly outlines some of the challenges that remain. While I’m concerned the benefits of our economic recovery aren’t being broadly felt, it’s encouraging to know Oregon’s small businesses feel as strongly as I do about the importance of affordable, quality healthcare, reforming our broken immigration system, and ensuring fair and equitable access to credit.”Sara Howe addresses Congresswoman Bonamici on issues impacting her small web, social media and marketing firm.
The Main Street Alliance of Oregon hopes lawmakers, the media and other decision makers will look closely at the results of this survey in planning public policy. We encourage them to listen and respond to the true voices of Main Street.
On June 12, the Main Street Alliance and the American Sustainable Business Council released the results of new scientific polling of small business owners views on retirement security. On the heels of a Pew study revealing dwindling retirement preparedness for most Americans, the new poll shows that small business owners see threats to business and the economy from the lack of retirement security.
While corporate CEOs are pressuring Congress to cut Social Security and Medicare as part of a so-called "Grand Bargain" to reduce the debt, small business owners say that cuts to Social Security and Medicare would be devastating to small businesses across the country.
A new series of reports from the Main Street Alliance and Social Security Works, Business is (Baby) Booming, analyze the important role Social Security and Medicare play in both strengthening the retirement security of small business owners themselves, and fueling consumer demand on Main Street in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Instead of cutting Social Security and Medicare, small business owners say Congress should crack down on offshore tax abuse that allows the wealthy and corporations to avoid more than $100 billion in U.S. taxes per year by sheltering their income offshore.
State "Business is (Baby) Booming" Reports
- Washington, D.C.
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia