Below is a small sample of the nearly 4,000 letters sent to legislators, through NJBIA, opposing the $15 minimum wage bill.

“Please vote against raising the Minimum Wage to $15.00. As a small business owner, this would adversely affect our business. The immediate impact would be a reduction in work force. We would not be able to compete against other companies here in the States and globally at this rate. New Jersey, as I’m sure you are aware, is the highest taxed State in the Country. This has led to out migration of both businesses and residents. Your focus should be on reducing this burden, not on adding to it.”
Robert Arrighi
Union Tool & Mold Co.
Maplewood

“As a long-time New Jersey manufacturing business and Trenton City booster, I want to inform you of some considerations to think about with the Minimum wage legislation now under debate.

“As a NJ company, we compete, not with other NJ companies, but with competitors throughout the US, and Asia. Costs of manufacturing in the US are already much higher than our Asian competition, although we have been able to counter that with quality in the past.

“In Manufacturing, wages and benefits are a significant percentage of costs of goods (38% for us). Raising the minimum wage also results in the same proportional increases in Workers Compensation insurance premiums (a state-set amount, based on gross wages), the Employer’s share of payroll taxes, and mandated paid time off for all.   Add to that, other benefits, and it becomes an incentive to outsource operations from NJ, or to automate processes to eliminate jobs (A robot does not require time off or insurance). Either way, NJ jobs will be reduced.

“Our company starting wage is currently $10/hr., required by the market competition to hire useful employees. We also pay 100% of employees health insurance (About $11,000 per year per employee). Raising the minimum wage would require us to shift the costs of health insurance to the employees, resulting in increased financial burdens upon them, negating any wage increase.

“These are some things to consider during your deliberations.

Scott Mele
Tektite Industries, Inc.
Trenton

“I am one of four owners of a small window manufacturer in South Jersey. We have been opened since 1956 and have been fighting to stay open for the last 10 years, but we have been able to. Changing the minimum wage to $15.00 per hour will put us out of business within the next couple of years. Our industry is very price driven, the cheaper the better. We will not be able to increase our selling price to offset the increase in wages, employer taxes and workers comp, along with whatever material cost that may go up because of vendors direct labor increasing. Please think about the long term effects that this change will have on the small business in New Jersey when you vote.”
Michelle Schmidt
Alliance Vinyl Williams
Mt. Ephraim

“I am a small business owner in South Jersey who has appx 25 employees. Most of our positions are non to low skilled. Changing the minimum wage to $15/hr will directly affect my costs and most likely put me out of business within a couple of years. My industry, we make vinyl windows and doors, is very price driven. We would not be able to absorb the extra cost of labor, taxes and insurances. Please consider the long term effect this increase will have on small business in New Jersey.”
Jeff Hersh
Alliance Vinyl Williams
Mt. Ephraim

“The purpose of my letter is to express my opposition to the $15 min wage. My company employs approx. 20-25 people in South NJ. We are a small, woman owned, family business and there is no way I can keep my business open and pay all employees $15.00 or even the proposed increases as small as they might be. My industry (records management) will not be able to absorb the cost or increase prices fast enough to keep our company open. We are still trying to get back on our feet from the last recession and this would be a final blow. I appreciate your time and please listen to the voice of the small business person.”
James Thoms
Alternative Micrographics
Forked River


“I am an owner/operator of two small businesses.  One is seasonal, one is not.

“The $15 minimum wage will 100% cause me to close both my businesses.  I cannot fathom how the teens and young adults I employ should make a wage so incredibly high. I would absolutely need to raise my prices by at least 50%, if not more, and at that point, do you think anyone will pay $15 for a smoothie? No they won’t and I will lose my livelihood as well as all the people I employ.  Either that or I will continue to pursue automatic and computer-based systems because I will not be able to afford to pay humans.

“If you think I am the only one in this situation you are vastly wrong.  A minimum wage hike like this will cause businesses across the board to either raise their prices significantly or close their doors.  If everyone needs to raise prices to accommodate for these increases, then the employees will end up paying more for products and more in taxes, so do you actually think they will end up with more money in their pockets? No, they will not.  They will have the same amount if they are lucky, but even more likely less.

“I SERIOUSLY encourage you to rethink this decision.  The impact it will have on the NJ economy is horrible at best.  Small business will not survive and it will be very sad to walk the streets of small towns with boarded up windows.

“If you think small business owners are raking in money and are greedy you are very misguided.  Myself and all of my fellow small business owners make a very modest salary and are hopeful to make enough just to live a simple life.  No one is buying yachts or planes.  We’re buying clothes and food for our children, paying our bills, and if we’re lucky we’re making enough to put some savings into retirement. This is the MAJORITY not the minority.

“If this passes, you will be responsible for thousands of jobs becoming obsolete and a population of unemployed with no open businesses to apply to.  I seriously recommend you rethink this and the terrible effects it WILL have.”

Alli O’Neill
Colonial Bakery
Lavallette


As a local provider of homecare services licensed as a Healthcare Service Firm and a member of the Home Health Services Association of NJ, I am writing to express my concern about the proposal to increase the states€™s minimum wage to $15.00 per hour.

Home Health Care is a unique business of New Jerseys economy in that it cannot be outsourced; it is distinctive in that it is literally a human service.  Home care is directly linked by a one-to-one relationship between the certified home health aide and the senior frail elderly patient. Since the major cost of our services is the labor of our caregiving employees, the proposed increase in the minimum wage will have a much larger impact on our patients and employees than in other industries.

While we support higher pay for our employees, a dramatic increase in the minimum wage presents significant challenges to both our senior frail elderly patients and the homecare industry for our home care services.

A move to an increased $15.00 Minimum Wage per hour will have unintended consequences for the home care industry such as:

-A senior recipient of home care services will spend down their savings at a 42%-44% faster rate thus forcing them into tax-payer subsidized long term care facilities in a shorter period of time.

-Private pay agencies will be forced to pass through the increased cost of wages to senior patients (who are often on fixed income) and their families, limiting the number of people who will be able to afford these services. There must be consideration given to a family’s ability to pay for these increased costs. 

-Attempting to achieve a balance of paying for Mom’s home care services and the financial demands of raising their family will be exacerbated. 

-Current Medicaid HMO reimbursement rates for home care, in total, are lower than the proposed $15.00 per hour minimum wage. The increase will place pressure on taxpayers to fund these much-needed services and potentially force service providers out of the Medicaid program.

As an example, many of our employees prefer to work as live-in caregivers, where the earning potential is higher, and room and board are typically provided. A live-in caregiver generally works an average of 10-13 hours per day, therefore earning a significant amount of overtime wages per week. When accounting for expected earned overtime, the annualized wage of a live-in employee will surpass $90,000 and the cost of care will increase by over 50%.

We respectfully request that a provision in the proposed legislation include a carve out for Certified Homemaker Home Health Aides who provide Live-In/Extended Shift care. If such a carve out is not provided the increase in the minimum wage to $15 will devastate live-in home care services and become unaffordable to families in New Jersey.

As a local small business, I respect, appreciate, and value all my employees and do support an increase in the wages. However, I feel we need to think carefully about how such an increase would impact small homecare businesses like mine, as well as our employees, and the seniors receiving care. I along with other small business members of the Home Health Services Association of NJ would welcome the opportunity to meet with you to discuss how we can preserve live-in homecare services in New Jersey.

Thank you very much for your time and consideration.

Frank Esposito
Expert Home Care
New Brunswick

“Please do not support the $15 minimum wage increase.  I am an owner of a sheet metal fabrication business.  Finding experienced people to work in our shop is next to impossible.  We now hire inexperienced people and train in-house.  They then learn a trade, and have the opportunity and motivation to advance within the company.  Increasing the minimum wage to $15 per hour will not let us continue to do this.

“Employee pay rates should be developed based on their contribution to the company.  Raising the minimum wage is forcing businesses to resolve the issue of high costs in NJ.  It is already difficult to be a manufacturer in this state.  This increase will continue to force businesses to leave New Jersey.”

Seth Cubbage

GP Precision Inc.

Hackettstown

As a small business owner in a specialized field where it takes time to properly train and certify employees in the field, raising the minimum wage will have a severe impact on my ability to remain solvent. If minimally trained individuals can start at $15.00/hr, $3.00 above our current starting salary, every other employee will expect a $3/hr raise as well.

This decision is a precipice for disaster in the real world and will force companies like mine to reconsider paid health and other benefits or even whether to remain in business in NJ. It will also cause a chain effect of higher prices and/or increased workloads. Please do not vote “yes” for this horrible legislation.

Pamela Tomasella
Tomasella’s Fire Protection Inc.
Manahawkin

I am writing to you as an employer in the state of New Jersey for the last 35 years. I am very concerned regarding the proposal to Raise the minimum wage to $15 over the next 5 years.

This is a very irresponsible position. Treating all industries the same is a grave mistake. Locking in the minimum wage with guarantee increases each year is a large mistake to make. Not knowing year in and year out what the economy will be like and making increases in the minimum wage will be a costly mistake.

As well, other issues that would affect business are as follows. As you raise the minimum wage each and every time, you have to take into account that any business with current well trained employees will not tolerate make a wage that is close to what a newly hired employee would be making. So, as an employer you would be absolutely forced to make a substantial increase amount to those train crew members or risk losing them all together.

I tell you this because this will drive the cost of labor even increasingly hirer. Well above the minimum wage increases proposed. This would in turn create a situation of having to make cut backs in labor in order to compete and stay in business. This would create the opposite effect of what a mandated increase is hoping to accomplish. This would force employers to cut back hiring workers and reducing hours to current staffers.

I would really hate to see this happen to an industry that I love so much. I like to create opportunities and advancement to my crew. I don’t see that happening with these mandated increases. Think about something? We all look at the process of goods and services and know what we feel is a fair price to pay for that particular good, or services. What happens when it became substantially more for those goods or services?

I will tell you what would happen–people cut back on those goods and services. So what happens to an economy when its people stop spending money? What happens is the economy shrinks, businesses slow and lay off, they also close their doors and then you have hirer unemployment, you then have less taxation coming in. These are many of my concerns with Locking in a mandated minimum wage increase. This is absolutely something that needs to be looked at. Look at it ongoing as needed. But don’t blindly put increases in every year.

Neil McMahon
IHOP
Edison