NYACS Expresses Concern Over Minimum Wage Hike Proposal

Current economic climate leaves c-stores "unable to afford 21% spike in payroll costs"

Margot Dorfman

ALBANY, N.Y. -- Margot Dorfman, CEO of the U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce said at a press conference in Albany, N.Y., by Business for a Fair Minimum Wage that more than 5,000 women-owned businesses in New York would benefit from Governor Andrew Cuomo's proposed minimum wage increase from $7.25 to $8.75.

''Raising the minimum wage reinforces their business strategy,'' she said about low-income people having more money to spend if the wage was higher, according to The Post-Journal. ''Consumer spending drives 70% of the economy.''

In response to Dorfman and other groups, James Calvin, president of the New York Association of Convenience Stores (NYACS), said, "The current economic climate for New York's mom-and-pop convenience stores leaves them unable to afford the 21% mid-year spike in payroll costs advocated today by the Women's Chamber of Commerce and other organizations.

"Between general economic conditions and the huge loss of retail business due to widespread tobacco and motor fuel tax avoidance, their sales are flat or declining. Thus, their only options for dealing with a steep rise in wages would be to reduce staff, cut benefits, or increase prices proportionately, any of which would further weaken their businesses and the overall economy.

"Our analysis shows that a $1.50 increase in minimum wage would actually cost our stores $1.76 once higher employer-paid payroll taxes are factored in. Plus, it would automatically trigger corresponding increases in the state's minimum weekly salary, uniform allowance, and meal allowance rates, compounding the financial impact on our members. Unable to compete with no-tax or lower-tax venues for core customers, new cost mandates would place these family businesses in a precarious position."

NYACS is a private, not-for-profit organization representing the interests of all 7,700 neighborhood mini-marts and convenience stores across New York State.