As you are probably aware, legislation was recently introduced to raise the State’s minimum wage to $15.00 per hour. As a result, it is important for us as a chamber to take a position on the matter. Being able to articulate our position to our members, our board, our elected officials, and the media is critical.
The Greater Toms River Chamber of Commerce opposes an increase in the minimum wage to $15.00 per hour at this time.
We believe that government should not have the right to impose wage requirements on private business owners.
Our economy relies heavily on small businesses – especially those in the retail and hospitality sectors. An increased minimum wage will adversely affect those businesses because of likelihood of wage compression and hampered job creation and opportunities for young people and low-skilled workers. An increased minimum wage will also likely mean a decrease in the number of available work hours and job training. Additionally, if our small business owners incur more expenses, they may need to pass those expenses onto the consumer raising the cost of goods sold.
We are in favor to policy alternatives such as a trainee wage at or below the current minimum wage for those starting in the workplace, increased funding and prioritization of education and workforce training programs as a way to reduce the number of workers at the minimum wage threshold, and minimum wage increases exemptions for small businesses or those businesses in certain industry sectors.