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  • BizPac of Central Illinois strongly disagrees with the State of Illinois' push to adopt a $15/hr m

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    February 15, 2019
    Illinois Businesses and Nonprofits
    Will Be Hurt By a $15/hr Minimum Wage
    The Business PAC of Central Illinois strongly disagrees with the State of Illinois’ push to adopt a $15/hr minimum wage. While we believe any increase in the minimum wage could jeopardize the availability of jobs and opportunity for our citizens, an increase of this magnitude, would be particularly harmful. The proposed wage hike to $15/ hour is an absolute danger to Central Illinois’ economic climate. This is especially the case when you consider the stark differences between the Chicago Metro area and the remainder of the state. Treating both the same, with an arbitrarily high minimum wage, would have detrimental effects that few have taken the time to consider. 
    As a group of business leaders organized to help promote business in Central Illinois, we look forward to working with our area legislators to create economic policy that is fair, well considered, and beneficial to all businesses looking to grow in the Peoria area. This $15/hour minimum wage policy fails to meet all three of these requirements. Such policy places an undue burden on small businesses and non-profit agencies. The unintended consequences will prove detrimental and create an economic climate that is less competitive, with these small businesses unable to compete against larger companies that can better absorb higher costs. Our non-profits will require more government funding or face the decision of whether to cut services or close completely. Additionally, by raising the minimum wage for our youth, there will be fewer opportunities available to them to learn valuable skills that prepare them for full employment later in life.
    In a recent survey, Illinois ranked as the 48th worst state to do business, ahead of only New York and California. [1] Adding a high minimum wage requirement will contribute to eroding our business environment even further. 
    We welcome the opportunity to discuss this decision further but can only do so if our legislators slow down and open the debate to all stakeholders. By opening the debate and truly listening to all of us affected by this rushed decision, the State of Illinois has an opportunity to craft policy that minimizes negative unintended consequences, takes into count regional differences between urban and rural communities, and lengthens the rollout period to allow business the ability to adjust their costs without placing undue burdens on its customers. At a time when ecommerce is driving shopping habits away from local communities, the last thing we want to do is force a significant, government mandated expense increase on our small businesses and non-profits. 
    About Business PAC of Central Illinois
    The BizPAC of Central Illinois is a political action committee organized to promote and support candidates who pursue growth policies and practices. Its Board of Directors is comprised of local business owners and managers who volunteer their time to meet with candidates and advocate on behalf of the business community.  For additional information on the Business PAC of Central Illinois visit businesspacofcentralillinois.com.
    [1] https://www.illinoispolicy.org/ceo-survey-ranks-illinois-business-climate-third-worst-in-the-nation/
    Sean Garrett, Chair
    (309) 495-5900