f you’ve got a business – you didn’t build that.

Remember that quote from President Barrack Obama? It appears that Governor Northam and the Democrats in the Virginia General Assembly bought into his thinking. It appears they believe that your business is not yours, but rather the government’s. They believe that the investment you have made in both money and sweat equity does not qualify you to make the decisions needed for your employees and the continued success of your operation.

They believe government should set the standard of who should be hired and how you should deal with those employees. It makes absolutely no difference to them if your business is profitable or not. The only issue to them is their chance to be in the news media as being the hero of those who might be receiving the federal minimum wage rate (which is only 3% for those over 25). When I presented the data of how their proposal would affect one company, they simply couldn’t nor did they respond. That company operates in over a dozen locations. They tabulated how their business would be affected.

The proposed state mandated raise to $10 an hour the first year would cost that business $561,000. They currently start employees at the federal minimum wage and provide raises as they prove their value to the business. Raising the starting wage would require them to give comparable raises to all other employees. To address this greater cost of doing business will require them to eliminate 18-20 employees. Additionally, they will have to reduce health insurance and/or their retirement plan.

Great Inflation Drivers

Another business with multiple locations calculated that the increase would exceed annual profits. They would have to discontinue business or increase prices accordingly. At the same time, Democrats are planning to raise the price of gasoline 11 cents a gallon this year and at least 8 more in the next couple of years. This will affect our folks worse. We have to drive farther to work and shop, taking a greater percentage of wages on gasoline and every other product they need to provide for their family. As everyone knows, it won’t be just gas that goes up.

We will be in session until at least March 7th. We would be honored for you to come to see the legislative process work. If you do, please come by our office at the Pocahontas Building room 505. You can also let us know your thoughts on issues by emailing us at District15@senate.virginia.gov, by mail at P. O. Box 396, Richmond, VA 23218 or by calling 804-698-7515.

To read the entire column pick up the Feb. 12, 2020 edition of the Brunswick Times-Gazette.