Quotable Quotes

As a small business owner for more than 30 years, I have to be reality based. My company wouldn’t last a week if we kept repeating mistakes. The Bush tax cuts for the richest Americans were a big mistake. Contrary to myth, my tax rate doesn’t affect hiring. If I think I can do more business, I hire more workers. The costs of finding, hiring and paying new employees are business expenses. They’re deducted up front from our taxable income. If we give more tax cuts to the wealthy, we’ll see many more cutbacks in the public services and infrastructure that really strengthen our economy. We’re still using roads, schools, parks and hospitals built as jobs projects during the Great Depression. Wouldn't it be great if our grandchildren were using broadband, renewable energy and 21st Century infrastructure built during the Great Recession – which in the real world is far from over?" -Lew Prince, Owner, Vintage Vinyl, St. Louis.

Small businesses are the lifeblood of local economies. We pay our fair share of taxes, shop locally, support our schools and actually generate most of the new jobs. So why do we have to subsidize the U.S. multinationals that use offshore tax havens to avoid paying taxes? We need to end tax havens and use that revenue to invest in growing our small businesses. That is how we create a healthy economy."-Frank Knapp, CEO and President, South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce.

The subjects of the state ought to contribute toward the support of the government, as nearly as possible, in proportion to their respective abilities; that is, in proportion to the revenue which they respectively enjoy under the protection of the state."
-Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations, 1776

I like to pay taxes. With them I buy civilization."
-Oliver Wendell Holmes, Supreme Court Justice

The U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce and its 500,000 members stands squarely behind the needs of America's Main Street small businesses in asking Congress to represent our interests through bringing strong transparency, oversight and accountability to Wall Street. The creation of a strong, independent Consumer Financial Protection Agency will benefit businesses, especially small businesses, which create most of the nation's new jobs. It's too often forgotten that small-business owners frequently rely on personal credit – such as personal credit cards and home equity loans – to start, run and expand their businesses.”-Margot Dorfman, CEO, U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce

I’ve owned a small business in St. Louis for 31 years. The financial meltdown has shown us how greedy and unscrupulous operators can disrupt the flow of credit and bring our economy to its knees. A consumer protection agency would protect my customers, my business and the economy, keeping responsible lenders from having to compete with sleazy credit hustlers. Common-sense regulation will free money to flow to responsible borrowers, protect the value of our savings and pension funds and direct our nation's financial resources toward job creation and the return of our national prosperity."
-Lew Prince, CEO/Co-Owner, Vintage Vinyl, St. Louis, MO

The increase in the minimum wage is long overdue. Paying your employees well is not only the right thing to do but it makes for good business."
-Jim Sinegal, CEO, Costco

It is but equity...that they who feed, clothe and lodge the whole body of the people, should have such a share of the produce of their own labor as to be themselves tolerably well fed, clothed and lodged."
-Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations, 1776

Solutions that depend on driving down costs by reducing wages and social benefits — in advanced countries or in emerging economies — are always dead ends…

Strategies based on exploiting low-wage labor end up in competitive jungles, where victories are vanishingly thin and each day brings a new competitor… The activities that succeed over time are, in contrast, those that build on continuous learning and innovation."
-Suzanne Berger, How We Compete: What Companies Around the World Are Doing To Make It in Today’s Global Economy (MIT Industrial Performance Center study of more than 500 companies)

Honest and affordable credit is fundamental to business success and nurturing the innovation needed to keep the U.S. competitive in the world economy. Sadly, many financial institutions have let us down and in the process shaken our faith in the integrity of our system. While 'profit' based on delivering real value to customers is at the heart of our economy, 'greed' is not. In this case, a lack of appropriate regulation has hurt America and American businesses. We can and must do better."
-Alan Gregerman, President, Venture Works, Silver Spring, MD

It is a sound business decision to increase the minimum wage. It increases sales. It increases employment. I have found that without exception in the successful ventures we've backed, providing sustainable living wages yielded direct increases in productivity, job satisfaction and brand loyalty from customers, all contributing to higher returns for investors and employers."
-Adnan Durrani, President, Condor Ventures; Venture Partner, Blue Chip Venture Capital

We all lose when American workers are underpaid. It's a myth that small businesses can't pay a higher minimum wage, as proven already in the states that have raised theirs. When businesses don't pay a living wage all society pays. We pay through poverty and needless disease, disability and death from inadequate health care. We pay as women struggle to put food on the table. We pay as businesses and communities suffer economic decline."
-Margot Dorfman, CEO, U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce

A minimum wage increase makes straightforward economic sense. It means more money in the hands of people who are going to spend it. Low minimum wages do NOT help small business. Small business owners know that keeping workers is easier and cheaper than finding and training new workers. And small business owners know that the longer an employee stays with you -- the more they know about your business and your customers, and the higher their productivity."
-Lew Prince, Co-Owner and CEO, Vintage Vinyl, St. Louis, MO

The current minimum wage rate is an insult to workers and employers. Yes, small business owners must spend wisely, but this means paying our workforce a fair wage if we expect quality work. I'm not looking for tax breaks or other 'helpful' legislation. I want the federal government to recognize hard work and raise the minimum wage so everyone who works can support themselves and their families."
-Amy Ventura, Co-President, Storm Graphic Arts, the 2006 Business of the Year, Prince William Regional Chamber of Commerce, Virginia

Investing in employees is the single most important investment that a company can make."
-Brian Smith, Managing Partner, Blackfoot River Brewing Company, Helena, MT

"Trying to save money by shortchanging my employees would be like skimping on ingredients. I'd lose more than I saved because of declining quality, service, reputation and customer base. You can't build a healthy business or a healthy economy on a miserly minimum wage."
-Kirsten Poole, Co-Owner, Kirsten’s Café and Dish Caterers, Silver Spring, MD

It is but equity...that they who feed, clothe and lodge the whole body of the people, should have such a share of the produce of their own labor as to be themselves tolerably well fed, clothed and lodged."
-Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations, 1776

I know firsthand how raising entry-level wages is good for business as well as workers. The White Dog Cafe pays a minimum of $9 an hour within three months, plus health and retirement benefits. With higher pay and benefits and therefore lower turnover, the staff is more experienced and committed to their work, which is key to the restaurant's success. Today's minimum wage shortchanges workers and undermines the long-term health of businesses, communities and the economy."
-Judy Wicks, Owner, White Dog Café, Philadelphia, PA

Nothing is more important to providing high-quality patient and resident-centered care than making sure our caregivers are paid a fair wage."
-Edward Kuntz, Executive Chairman of the Board, Kindred Healthcare Inc.

In my business, we know people work hard, and we want to pay people enough to keep them. The minimum wage is about respecting the dignity of working people and paying people a decent wage. Raising the minimum wage to $7.25 would only be a start."
-Stephen Zorn, Managing Partner, Castle Village Farm, Florida and New York

We're overdue for a minimum-wage increase. It's a sign of respect for our employees and the work they do for us as business owners."
-Shalon Hastings,Co-Owner, Taco del Sol, Helena, MT

As an owner of a large bed & breakfast inn for ten years, I paid above minimum wage because it was good for my business and it was good for my employees. Housekeepers earned every penny of the $10 to $12 per hour they were paid during 1996-2005. We also provided them with health insurance. Paying workers above $5.15 an hour makes sense in any business -- the money spent filters down and gets circulated back into the economy."
-Rose Marie Ray, Owner, Pamian Inc.; Innkeeper (ret), Seminole, FL

Overall most low-wage workers pump every dollar of their paychecks directly into the local economy by spending their money in their neighborhood stores, local pharmacies and corner markets."
-Dan Gardner, Commissioner, Labor and Industries for Oregon, which has the second-highest state minimum wage

Paying people a fair wage is a sign of respect and acknowledgement of the value of people's contributions to the business. When people are treated fairly and with respect, they will provide unparalleled levels of support and commitment inside the business, and to clients and customers. Everyone is more successful when people are paid a living wage."
-Amy Lyman, Co-Founder and Chair of Board of Directors, Great Place to Work Institute, a global research and management consultancy