Posted: Sep 20, 2014 5:27 PM
By WIS Staff
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) –
This week, the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce (SCSBCC), which represents more than 5,000 businesses in the state, announced its endorsement of legislation to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour.
The group stressed the need to increase consumer demand in South Carolina to provide a much needed boost to the state’s economy. Although many states have minimum wages that are higher than the federal rate, South Carolina has no state minimum wage so most workers are covered by the federal minimum, which has been at $7.25 since 2009.
“Our state badly needs a boost in consumer demand, which is how Main Street businesses grow.” said Frank Knapp, Jr., President and CEO of the SCSBCC. “Per capita income has fallen by nearly three percent in the last five years. That’s the wrong direction. Wall Street might be booming but that isn’t helping Main Street. Increasing the minimum wage will put more money in the hands of people who spend it right here in our state. That’s good for small business and good for South Carolina.”
The positive impact of a $10.10 federal minimum wage on South Carolina would be significant. About 300,000 employees in the state have hourly wages below $10.10., according to the non-partisan Economic Policy Institute.
With an additional 150,000 employees expected to receive increases as a result of adjusted wage structures, the estimated total increase in wages for the state is $711 million. That translates to a $450 million increase in GDP for the state (net effect), providing a significant boost in consumer spending at South Carolina businesses.