A Minimum Wage Increase in
Cleveland Would Set Our City Back

Clevelanders agree.
I am not going to support anything that would put Cleveland at a disadvantage over the entire state of Ohio. [WKYC, May 12]
- Mayor Frank Jackson

What’s Wrong with Cleveland's $15/hr Minimum Wage Proposal?

Higher wages mean a better quality of life for everyone in Cleveland, right?

No, in fact, things would probably get worse. If you increase the minimum wage by 85% in Cleveland, places like grocery stores, restaurants, and convenience stores would all raise prices - a lot. Some will go out of business. Other companies will move to the suburbs where they can pay less, creating a vacuum for jobs inside the city and forcing those who live here to commute into the suburbs for work. This proposal would discourage new investment in areas of the city that need it most and create food deserts. It would mean fewer jobs and businesses in Cleveland, at a time when hard-working families and seniors can least afford it.

Won’t raising the wage help single mothers and women the most?

No, it would actually hurt mothers and women the most. A $15 minimum wage in Cleveland would cut over 2,500 jobs -- and over 70% of those jobs are currently held by women. We should give women more job opportunities, not fewer.

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Businesses can afford this. Is it really that big of a deal to increase wages?

It really is. Many of Cleveland’s businesses operate on razor thin profit margins. For them, raising the minimum wage by 85% would be devastating. There will be layoffs, reductions in work hours, and store closures.

Won’t this put more money in people’s pockets?

Many Clevelanders will lose their livelihoods all together. And because it would be more difficult for businesses to hire workers -- especially for those crucial first jobs -- young people will lose chances to break into the workforce. If the proposal passes, businesses would be forced to raise prices, taking more away from seniors who will be forced to pay more for basic goods like food while Social Security payments will remain the same. It would be a tough climate to start or open a business here, too, and the economic renaissance Cleveland has seen in recent years would disappear.

But Clevelanders are pushing for this, right?

No. An outside activist group funded by a union from Columbus is pushing for this drastic change, not real Clevelanders. The group wants to use Cleveland as a testing ground to see if people might actually support their radical agenda. But, we’re smarter than their twisted rhetoric, since the facts say this increase in the minimum wage is BAD for our city.

What People Are Saying

“[This] would devastate the company and leave some neighborhoods without a grocery store at all….without question, Dave's would not be able to operate as we are today if this type of legislation passes in the city of Cleveland."
– Steve Saltzman, Dave’s Supermarkets

"If this passes, we'll all remember this as the moment in time when Cleveland's momentum fell off a cliff."
– Sam McNulty, Cleveland Restaurant Owner

"If this were to pass, there would be a wholesale closing of grocery stores in Cleveland. In fact, we think most grocery stores in the city would close, because their margins are already so narrow. ... And I would expect that it would create a huge spike in hunger and demand on emergency food systems."
– Joel Ratner, president and CEO of the community development nonprofit agency Cleveland Neighborhood Progress