Small and family-owned businesses barely hanging on during COVID will be devastated by mandatory minimum wage hikes

Tallahassee, FL — Florida small business owners and workers launched today the “Amendment 2 Hurts You” campaign to fight the mandatory minimum wage ballot initiative that will kill jobs, reduce workers’ income and destroy Florida’s economy.

“Ballot Amendment 2 is a job killer. It will hurt businesses, and it will destroy Florida’s economy,” said Carol Dover, President & CEO of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association. “We are putting more than 2 million potential jobs at stake here in Florida. This is a bad amendment. In an effort not to hurt your local restaurants and hotels and some of your favorite places to visit, we are asking you to please vote no on Ballot Amendment 2.”

Coupled with the long-term effects of COVID-19 on Florida’s economy, Ballot Amendment 2 will have catastrophic impacts on small businesses, which are the backbone of our state.

“I’ve been in the restaurant business in Florida for almost 25 years. I’ve put my heart and my love into my business and my community. This mandatory wage increase is bad for business, and if it’s bad for my business, it’s bad for my employees,” said John Horne, owner of Anna Maria Oyster Bar in Bradenton. “It’s a vicious spiral that I really don’t want to see. We don’t want to be forced to increase our minimum wage, cutting jobs, cutting hours, raising prices. COVID has already devastated us, I can’t imagine my business going through this. I’ve invested my blood, sweat and tears into my business over the past 25 years. I know the large companies can absorb this, but a small business like mine, we will be crushed.”

This scheme has already been passed in liberal cities across the United States: Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago and Washington, D.C. It has killed jobs, closed businesses and expanded the income gap. Their streets are covered in poverty, riots, crime and unrest.

Simone Barron, founder of the workers’ advocacy group, the Full-Service Workers Alliance Seattle, knows this firsthand.

“Soon after the $15 minimum wage was implemented in Seattle, we started seeing the negative consequences of that wage hike,” Barron said. “Our tips were diminishing…. and that impacted my pocketbook. Then our employers decided to cut back on hours. I ended up working six days a week between two different jobs as opposed to four days a week just to make the same amount of money. Perhaps large, multinational corporations that have valuations on Wall Street can absorb an arbitrary wage increase, but where you will really feel the pain is on Main Street, with small businesses. They can’t absorb a wage hike like this and be able to support workers like me. It just doesn’t work.”

Ballot Amendment 2 will crush local businesses in Florida. These businesses have suffered significantly in recent months due to the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Before COVID-19, Florida’s restaurant, lodging and tourism industry generated more than $112 billion in annual economic impact and provided jobs for more than 1.5 million Florida families.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many were forced to close. Nearly 100,000 of these jobs were furloughed or eliminated. Now, Ballot Amendment 2 could force businesses to do even more with less.

For more information about Ballot Amendment 2 and its devastating impacts on small businesses, workers and Florida’s economy, visit


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