National and Local Business Organizations Endorse Initiative 1433 to Raise the Minimum Wage

Business owners across the state also join in endorsing a new statement supporting Initiative 1433 because it’s good for business and the economy

SEATTLE – Today, Business for a Fair Minimum Wage and the Green Business Network endorsed a new statement supporting Initiative 1433 to raise Washington’s minimum wage and allow all workers to earn paid sick leave because it will make for a healthier Washington economy. Business leaders across the state are showing their support for Initiative 1433 by endorsing the new statement, with more joining the effort every day.

Business for a Fair Minimum Wage (BFMW), a national network of business owners and executives who believe a fair minimum wage makes good business sense, represents thousands of small and large companies across the country including businesses in Washington such as Earth Friendly Products, Grounds for Change and Altig-Orlovic Agency-American Income Life, commenting below:

“We support Initiative 1433 as a vital investment in Washington’s workforce and economy,” said Kelly Vlahakis-Hanks, President and CEO of Earth Friendly Products, maker of ECOS brand green cleaning products. “At our facility in Lacey, we start employees at $17 and provide paid healthcare and sick leave. Paying a living wage isn’t just the right thing to do; it’s made a positive impact on our bottom line. Our voluntary turnover rate is nearly zero, our productivity has increased, and our profits continue to climb. Our employees are our greatest brand ambassadors. Raising Washington’s minimum wage to $13.50 is a critical step in creating a truly sustainable economy that helps everyone thrive.”

“Our investment in employees, including good wages and healthcare, is key to their investment in our success as a business,” said Rick Altig, chairman of Altig-Orlovic American Income Life, with locations in Seattle, Redmond, Tacoma, Vancouver and Spokane. “Raising the minimum wage is a vital step in ensuring that Washington workers – who are also our customers – make a living wage. Initiative 1433 is good for workers, businesses and the entire community.”

Altig’s business was ranked No. 1 on Puget Sound Business Journal’s 2016 Washington Best Workplaces.

By raising the minimum wage for more than 730,000 Washington workers, Initiative 1433 will put an extra $600 in the pockets of minimum-wage workers every month. When workers earn more, they spend more, which boosts local businesses and the state economy. According to the Washington State Budget & Policy Center, Initiative 1433 will inject $2.5 billion in new spending into the economy every year.

“Raising the minimum wage is good for business and the economy,” said Kelsey Marshall, co-founder of Grounds for Change in Poulsbo. “Every single coffee bean we roast is certified Fair Trade, and that commitment to fair wages begins with our own staff. Paying fair wages saves us money through better productivity and morale, less product waste, and better customer service. Initiative 1433 is a win-win.”

Business for a Fair Minimum Wage and Green America’s Green Business Network join the Greater Seattle Business Association and the Main Street Alliance of Washington in endorsing Initiative 1433.

You can read the letter and the list of signers online here.