For a very long time now, the fight for a $15 minimum wage has gone without much local small business support—at least publicly. Sure, there was Annie's Nannies, which publicized that they were raising their wages to $15, but that business owner stopped far short of actually endorsing a citywide $15 minimum wage. A photo ran around Twitter of a food truck outside the last 15 Now conference with a 15 Now poster in the window.
But where was the broad, mainstream small business support? Where were the $15 signs in multiple shop windows? Where was the small-business face of the $15-is-possible-and-it's-the-right-thing-to-do argument?
There were certainly small businesses willing to be the face of the $15-is-not-possible-aaargh-we'll-all-die argument. But where, people asked, were the pro-$15 businesses that we all wanted to (or already did) shop at?
Behind the scenes, a number of small businesses were, in fact, in favor of a raise to $15, and were working strategically to get one. But that was way behind the scenes. In public, very few wanted to say anything until a deal was struck. Which, for the average person, created a weird and understandable confusion: What do our beloved local businesses think about this? And then this morning, on my way in to work:
- The Stranger
I hear there's one up at Cupcake Royale, too. These signs are from 15 for Seattle, the labor/nonprofit/small-business coalition that's backing the mayoral committee's proposed minimum-wage deal. Whether you're on the hard "15 Now" side or you're a fan of the compromise deal, it's really fucking nice to finally start seeing these.