NYACS President Speaks Out On Minimum Wage Hike

NYACS warns c-stores would be forced to deal with wage increases by reducing staff, cutting benefits or increasing prices.

James Calvin, president of the New York Association of Convenience Stores (NYACS), has responded to a press event by the Women’s Chamber of Commerce concerning the proposed New York minimum wage increase.

On Thursday, Business for a Fair Minimum Wage held a press conference call with business and chamber leaders who support the proposed minimum wage hike. The increase was proposed in January by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and would raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.75 in New York.  

Margot Dorfman, U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce CEO, told the press conference audience that a wage hike is overdue, adding that more than 5,000 women-owned businesses in New York would benefit if it was implemented.  ”Raising the minimum wage reinforces their business strategy,” she said about low-income people having more money to spend. ”Consumer spending drives 70% of the economy.”

“The current economic climate for New York’s mom-and-pop convenience stores leaves them unable to afford the 21% mid-year spike in payroll costs advocated today by the Women’s Chamber of Commerce and other organizations,” countered NYACS’ Calvin in a statement. “Between general economic conditions and the huge loss of retail business due to widespread tobacco and motor fuel tax avoidance, their sales are flat or declining. Thus, their only options for dealing with a steep rise in wages would be to reduce staff, cut benefits, or increase prices proportionately, any of which would further weaken their businesses and the overall economy.”

NYCS’ analysis shows that a $1.50 increase in minimum wage would actually cost stores $1.76 once higher employer-paid payroll taxes are factored into the equation. “Plus, it would automatically trigger corresponding increases in the state’s minimum weekly salary, uniform allowance, and meal allowance rates, compounding the financial impact on our members,” Calvin said. “Unable to compete with no-tax or lower-tax venues for core customers, new cost mandates would place these family businesses in a precarious position.”

 

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