Dear Kathleen Wynne,
I take this stuff personally. I am that small business everyone’s theorizing about with the new wage hike.
I am not some evil corporate entity. I pay above minimum wage. I am not living in a beautiful home; I buy my clothes at Winners, and drive a Honda. I am a mother, who has paid her staff more than I paid myself some winters, because I need to offset hydro rates, tax rates and the fact that my buying power doesn’t get me giant dairy rebates that big corporate buyers get.
I struggle every summer to keep our cost of labor under 30 per cent, not because it cuts into profits, but because if we go over it, I can’t pay my hydro bill. So let’s look at some numbers.
I will now have to pay a kid, fresh out of school, zero skills, zero experience, 15 bucks an hour. That 15 bucks actually costs me about 17 when you factor in CPP and EI. (We must contribute more than the employee, not sure people know that.)
So, what do I now need to pay the skilled employee working next to him? $20? That’s costing me about $23. Where is that going to come from? I can’t just eat it. So what do I do? I stop hiring unskilled people because they don’t produce enough to be cost effective. This is not an economic theory, this is my fact.
I raise my prices, which means I can’t complete with corporate brands at all. So my nine dollar pint is now $10. People stop buying, because that’s too expensive. So my revenue doesn’t really get any higher, which means I’m still not offsetting the cost of the increase. My current pricing gets higher because my purchasing volume is going down. So my costs climb while my sales decrease.
Meanwhile, McDonald’s implements kiosks where you place your order yourself. You scan and cash out your order at Home Depot. You bank online. You pump your own gas. Have you ever noticed in a giant store that there’s only five employees to be found? Unskilled labor is being phased out of corporate employment, and small business can’t afford to grow.
The cost of buying a pint of ice cream goes up, along with anything else that’s been made in this province, so people choose the cheaper foreign option. Small business disappears slowly. Where does this end?
You want to fix poverty in this province? Reinstate E.I. and free tuition for apprenticeship training, cut taxes on small business, cut taxes on the lowest income earners, stop paying Hydro One execs millions of dollars a year while families have to choose between food and hydro, stop the Wynne government from continuously passing the buck in their screw ups to the people.
She can’t make this province livable, so force the businesses to do it for her? Ya that works. I am not corporate America, I am the reality of who is affected. This is not grand scheme economic theory, this is my company… and I’m not some rich ass paying 11 bucks an hour for a dishwasher to toil away all his life. I pay above minimum wage, but I can’t any more. So when commenting keep some of these things in mind.
Belly Ice Cream, Huntsville
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