March 16, 2015
Albany, NY

Downstate Business Leaders Join Governor Cuomo’s Campaign to Raise the Minimum Wage

TOP Downstate Business Leaders Join Governor Cuomo...

Philippe Dauman of Viacom, Kevin Ryan of Gilt Groupe and Doug Steiner of Steiner Studios Back "Fight for Fair Pay" Campaign

Business Leaders from Long Island, Hudson Valley, and New York City Recognize Economic Benefit of Raising Minimum Wage to $10.50 Statewide and $11.50 in New York City

WYSIWYG

Governor Cuomo today announced that business leaders from New York City, Long Island and the Hudson Valley have joined the "Fight for Fair Pay" campaign to raise the minimum wage in New York this year. These 41 business leaders represent broad private sector support – including some of New York's most prominent business leaders and an array of small businesses – for the Governor's proposal, which increases the minimum wage from the current $8.75 to proposed $10.50 statewide and $11.50 in New York City.

“Raising the minimum wage is not just good news for our low wage workers – it is good news for New York’s economy, and I am pleased that businesses leaders from across the State are making their voices heard,” Governor Cuomo said. “More money in the pockets of minimum wage workers means more money being spent at small businesses and pumped into our economy. I thank these business leaders for joining the Fight for Fair Pay campaign, and working together we will raise the minimum wage in New York this year.”

 

In total, 1.3 million New Yorkers will experience higher wages as a result of the minimum wage increase, which translates into a $3.4 billion direct economic value statewide – meaning that more New Yorkers will have more money to spend on goods and services in their community. During the last six increases in New York State’s minimum wage, employment subsequently increased in industries with many minimum wage workers.

 

Business leaders who have joined the Governor's Fight for Fair Pay campaign include:

 

New York City

  • Philippe Dauman, President and CEO of Viacom
  • Kevin Ryan, Chairman and Founder of Gilt Groupe
  • Doug Steiner, Chairman of Steiner Studios
  • Kathryn Wylde, President and CEO of NYC Partnership
  • Mark Jaffe, President and CEO of the Greater NY Chamber of Commerce
  • David Sorbaro, CEO of Mavis Discount Tire and MavisTire.com
  • Elizabeth Velez, President and Chief Contract Administrator of the Velez Organization 
  • Sandra Wilkin, Founder and President of Bradford Companies and Co-Founder of the Women’s Builders Council
  • Lloyd Williams, President and CEO of the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce
  • Carlo A. Scissura, President and CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce
  • John Mullane, President of Transcon International
  • Amy Tanenbaum, Executive Vice President, SICIS
  • David Khouri, Principal for KGBL
  • David Lowenstein, President, Jos. H. Lowenstein & Sons
  • Atilla Mozsolits, CFO, Precision Gear
  • Shirley Leung, Consultant for TMI
  • James Clark, Owner, Look North NY
  • Jorge Faber, President and CEO of Madelaine Chocolate Company

 

Long Island

  • Robert Fonti, Suffolk Chairman of the Long Island Business Council
  • Adrian Fassett, President of the Economic Opportunity Council of Suffolk
  • Keith Barrett, President of the Huntington Station Business Improvement District
  • Mitch Pally, Executive Director of Long Island Builders' Institute
  • Anne Shybunko-Moore, President and Owner of GSE Dynamics
  • Alan Steinger, President and Creative Director of Top Hat Image Wear
  • Misha Migdal, Owner, Supreme Screw Products, Inc.
  • Nelson Hernandez, President of Empresarios por El Cambio/Entrepenuers for Change
  • Jamie Moore, President of ADDAPT

 

Hudson Valley

  • Robin Douglas, Founder, President and CEO of the African American Chamber ofCommerce of Westchester and Rockland Counties, Inc.
  • Wiley Harrison, President of Business for Your Business, LLC
  • Lucinda Poindexter, Executive Director, Hudson Valley ReThink Local
  • Jamil Khan, Deputy Director of P&EM for Solar City
  • Nick D’Angelo, Principal of Fuller & D’Angelo
  • Samara Levine, Managing Director, American Solar Partners
  • James W. Taylor, Jr., President & CEO, Taylor Biomass Energy LLC
  • Laura Ornstein, Coordinator for the NYS Sustainable Business Council
  • Gregorio Luciano, President & CEO, Dominican Magic
  • Howard Hellman, President & CEO of All Bright Electric
  • Todd Ravinett, Co-Owner & CFO of Ameribag
  • William Mascetta, President of Transit Construction Corp.
  • Elizabeth Fitzgerald, CFO of Sound Associates, Inc.
  • Vince Cozzolino of FALA Technologies     

 

A chart of the regional breakdown of the $3.4 billion in direct economic value and 1.3 million New Yorkers who will experience higher wages as a result of the increase is available here.

 

The Governor is urging New Yorkers to join the #Fight4FairPay campaign by contacting their State Legislators; details are available on the Fight for Fair Pay website

 

ATTN TV STATIONS: A video clip of Governor Cuomo calling on New Yorkers to support his proposed minimum wage increase can be viewed on YouTube here and downloaded in TV-quality (h264, mp4) format here.

 

A reasonable minimum wage can help improve the standard of living for workers, reduce poverty, encourage fair and more efficient business practices, and ensure that the most vulnerable members of the workforce can contribute to the economy. An increase in the minimum wage will affect women and adults most, and lift more than 100,000 New Yorkers out of poverty.

 

More than 594,000 New Yorkers earn the current minimum wage of $8.75 per hour. The State has taken action to raise the minimum wage incrementally from $7.25, when Governor Cuomo came to office, to $9.00 by the end of 2015. This progress has been important, but it has not been enough to make up fully for a trend that had seen the minimum wage fall far below the average hourly wage in the state, now over $30. The Governor proposes to again raise the minimum wage to increase earnings for many wage earners in low-income households, which will also aid local economies.

 

New York City

 

Philippe Dauman, President and CEO of Viacom said, “Governor Cuomo’s proposal to increase the state and city minimum wage is a reasonable step toward restoring hope to workers at the bottom of the economic ladder. Our economy is recovering, but wage rates have not kept pace. Raising the minimum wage is one way to address that problem.”

 

Kevin Ryan, Chairman and Founder of Gilt Groupe said, “New York City is expensive and the current minimum wage is far less than what is required to live here. Governor Cuomo’s proposal would represent a 31% pay increase for the city’s minimum wage workers by 2016. Most of the city’s employers would agree that this is a fair and decent thing to do and we support him.”

 

Doug Steiner, Chairman of Steiner Studios said, "I’m all in favor of raising the minimum wage. People working full time shouldn’t have to live below the poverty line. And the increase in wages is just money that goes right back into the local economy, which helps everyone."

 

Kathryn Wylde, President and CEO of NYC Partnership said, "Last week, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that national unemployment rates are down to 5.5 percent and new jobs are being created at a healthy clip, but wage growth across the nation remains stagnant. Market forces are not generating the shared prosperity that most Americans hope for and the Governor's plan for a wage increase for the lowest paid workers is clearly the most direct way to correct that."

 

Mark Jaffe, President and CEO of the Greater NY Chamber of Commerce said, “The Governor’s proposal to raise the minimum wage has a projected $1.9 billion direct economic value in New York City and $3.4 billion across the state. This is exactly what will keep businesses here growing – consumers who have more money to spend in their community. An increased minimum wage is the right move for businesses and workers alike – and we are pleased to support Governor Cuomo’s call for one.”

 

David Sorbaro, CEO of Mavis Discount Tire and MavisTire.com said, "Spurring economic activity is vital to maintaining our momentum following the Great Recession. By increasing New York's minimum wage, more workers will experience higher pay – translating into a direct increase in economic activity. More consumers having more money to spend on goods and services is sure to strengthen our economy, from corner to corner, in communities all across the state."

 

Sandra Wilkin, Founder and President of Bradford Companies and Co-Founder of the Women’s Builders Council said, “As the president of a leading women-owned construction firm, I have been advocating for women in my industry throughout my entire career. Women are disproportionately represented among those who make the lowest wages, which unfairly suppresses their potential. Raising the minimum wage is a win for women in all industries.”

 

Lloyd Williams, President and CEO of the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce said, “The Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce joins with New York's business community to support a much needed raise in New York’s minimum wage. It is proven that when workers have more money to spend, they spend it locally, stimulating the economy and generating much needed activity to our small businesses and our communities as a whole. It is clear that whatever businesses pay out in increased labor costs will be recouped in multiple ways including increased business activity as well as new jobs. We thank Governor Cuomo for his leadership in this matter and urge our Legislature to pass the Governor’s minimum wage proposal during this session."

 

Carlo A. Scissura, President and CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce said, "An increase in the minimum wage will lead directly to greater economic activity in New York City and across the state. Our economy has come a long way in a few short years, and now is the time to build on that momentum by delivering a minimum wage increase to more than 570,000 workers across the five boroughs – including tens of thousands here in Brooklyn – so that they can generate even more economic activity."

 

John Mullane, President of Transcon International said, "Businesses of all sizes benefit greatly from an increased minimum wage, ensuring continued economic growth in throughout New York City and the rest of the state. Higher wages will help pump money into local economies as people spend more of their hard-earned money – specifically, $1.9 billion in New York City. Raising the minimum wage to $10.50 statewide and $11.50 in New York City is absolutely something businesses should get behind. A minimum wage that is less than the proposed increase will no longer sustain a family any place in New York State anymore."

 

Amy Tanenbaum, Executive Vice President of SICIS said, "When workers can cover their basic needs, it’s good for business. Raising the wage to $11.50 in New York City means more workers that aren’t distracted on the job, wondering how they’ll feed their kids or pay the rent. The increased productivity of these workers will more than pay for the wage boost, and the real wages translate into increased spending throughout the community. We encourage the Legislature to pass the minimum wage increase this session."

 

David Khouri, Principal for KGBL said, "When the minimum wage is increased, the economy as a whole benefits by increased consumer spending as well as more individuals and families seeing rising incomes. We are a high cost city, and we support Governor Cuomo’s plan to raise the minimum wage here in New York State and in New York City to help our low wage workers. It’s a proposal that will be good for the economy, increase spending, and benefit our city and state."

 

James Clark, Owner of Look North NY said, "A rising tide raises all ships. When a worker earns more in wages, they will increase their spending. Now this hike in spending will in turn lead to an increase in businesses’ bottom line and more jobs across the board. I applaud Governor Cuomo for this proposal and look forward to the rising tide of the minimum wage increase to the tune of $1.9 billion here in New York City."

 

Long Island

 

Robert Fonti, Suffolk Chairman of the Long Island Business Council said, "Any increase in the minimum wage in New York will put $382 million into the pockets of hard-working Long Islanders. Much of this money is sure to go right back into our local economy, as those workers – more than 200,000 in total – spend their extra earnings on basic goods and services throughout our communities. It’s a win-win for workers and business."

 

Adrian Fassett, President of the Economic Opportunity Council of Suffolk said, "Increasing the minimum wage will boost economic activity in local economies, including ours here on Long Island. More economic activity – as more than 200,000 people experience their wages increase – will lead to a better, stronger communities. A thriving Long Island community is one that is growing and full of energy – both of which will be strengthened by raising the minimum wage."

 

Keith Barrett, President of the Huntington Station Business Improvement District said, "One of the best things we can do to strengthen the Long Island economy is increase the amount of money that people have to spend and invest here. By raising the minimum wage as the Governor is proposing – to $10.50 in New York State and $11.50 in New York City – there will be more money in the pockets of hard-working Long Islanders that will, in turn, be used to purchase more goods and services throughout communities like Huntington. For this reason, it is important that we help pass the Governor's minimum wage proposal this session."

 

Mitch Pally, Executive Director of Long Island Builders' Institute said, "Increasing consumers' spending power is good for business. Raising the minimum wage will give Long Island’s workers more cash to spend and invest right here in our communities. This increase in consumer demand will have a significant impact on businesses in every sector on Long Island – including ours – which is why we support increasing the minimum wage to $10.50 per hour."

 

Anne Shybunko-Moore, President and Owner of GSE Dynamics said, "Governor Cuomo's proposal supports a proven model that raising minimum wage will increase the region's median income, which will then create a stronger economy throughout all of our communities. We need to invest in the right things in order to succeed in business, and investing in hard working New Yorkers seems like the right choice for our families, and for our businesses."

 

Alan Steinger, President and Creative Director of Top Hat Image Wear said, “As a business owner, I can confidently say that raising the minimum wage would not hurt my business, and on the contrary, I am excited about the proposed increase. It means more money flowing in this community and more customers coming in to buy my products. It means an improved quality of life for the people I care about. I want to see my local economy flourish, and making sure that people have some extra money in their pockets is a great way to do it.”

 

Misha Migdal, Owner of Supreme Screw Products, Inc. said, "Increasing the minimum wage is an important investment for Long Island businesses and communities. More than 200,000 workers in Long Island would directly benefit from an increase in the minimum wage, and they would have more than $382 million to spend and reinvest in their local communities. Increased buying power strengthens the economy – which is why increasing the minimum wage is good for business."

 

Jamie Moore, President of ADDAPT said, "The Aerospace & Defense industry is proud to provide high-value added products for defense, transportation, exploration and humanitarian needs. The industry continues a long-standing tradition of paying higher wages for exceptional performance. Given the need for a strong, engaged and sustainable workforce, I support Governor Cuomo's proposal to raise the minimum wage to help 1.2 million New Yorkers."

 

Hudson Valley

 

Robin Douglas, Founder, President and CEO of the African American Chamber ofCommerce of Westchester and Rockland Counties, Inc. said, “The African American Business Community recognizes that many families rely on income from a minimum wage job to make ends meet. Governor Cuomo’s proposal for a minimum wage increase will lift the standard of living for workers, reduce poverty, and ensure that the most vulnerable members of the workforce can contribute to the economy. This is a plan businesses, their employees and all New Yorkers should support.”

 

Wiley Harrison, President of Business for Your Business, LLC said, “Someone making the current minimum wage earns around $18,200 a year and is expected to use that to cover the cost of housing, child care, transportation, utilities and food. Raising the minimum wage will make their lives a little easier as well as have positive effect on the local economy. These wage earners are very likely to spend their additional earnings rather than save or invest. I commend Governor Cuomo for this proposal and urge fellow business people to support his efforts.”

 

Lucinda Poindexter, Executive Director of Hudson Valley ReThink Local said, "Raising the minimum wage will help reduce poverty, enhance the prospects of local businesses and give regional economies a much-needed boost. In the Hudson Valley, workers will have a total of more than $271 million additional money in their pockets to spend at all of our local businesses. I support raising New York's minimum wage to $10.50 statewide."

 

James W. Taylor, Jr., President and CEO of Taylor Biomass Energy, LLC said, "Businesses – and the Hudson Valley community as a whole – stand to greatly benefit by an increased minimum wage. More than 143,000 workers here would directly benefit from an increase in the minimum wage, and they would have more than $271 million to spend on more goods and services. Increased buying power strengthens the economy – which is why increasing the minimum wage is good for Hudson Valley business."

 

Gregorio Luciano, President & CEO of Dominican Magic said, "When people have more money in their pockets, they invest more in their communities and spend at local businesses. I support the Governor’s plan to raise New York's minimum wage to $10.50 statewide and $11.50 in New York City – where 1.3 million workers will earn more money to spend and invest in communities throughout the state, including here in Westchester."

 

William Mascetta, President of Transit Construction Corp. said, "Continued economic growth in Upstate New York is vital to our business' success. That’s why raising the minimum wage is so important; more people – an estimated 775,000 workers living outside of New York City – will have more money in their pockets to spend on local goods and services to the tune of $1.5 billion. I strongly support Governor Cuomo's proposal to raise the minimum wage to $10.50 statewide and $11.50 in New York City."

 

Elizabeth Fitzgerald, CFO of Sound Associates, Inc. said, "Raising the minimum wage for workers will help businesses and communities throughout the Hudson Valley. Since raising the minimum wage puts more money in the pockets of working families, more money is in turn spent on goods and services – which is the definition of increased economic activity. I support Governor Cuomo's proposal to raise the minimum wage in New York State from $8.75 to $10.50 and $11.50 in New York City, where the cost of living is higher."

 
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