Tallahassee, FL — As small businesses fight to stay open through COVID-19 and keep their teams employed, millionaire John Morgan shows no empathy and urges them to do a better job. The attacks on small businesses and servers came during a debate on The Florida Pulse, a new livestream series by opinion editors at the USA Today Network-Florida.
Urging viewers to vote no on Ballot Amendment 2, the mandatory minimum wage hike, business owner Jay Johnson of Bubba’s Roadhouse in Cape Coral said: “To put this into real-world numbers at Bubba’s… In year 1, this wage increase will cost me $86,000 per year and by year 5 it will cost me over $350,000 per year. If Ballot Amendment 2 passes I would be forced to look at reducing worker’s hours, eliminating some jobs or worse yet close our 26-year old business.”
Moderators from the USA Today papers, which included Isadora Rangel of Florida Today, Brent Batten of Naples Daily News, and Krys Fluker of Daytona Beach News-Journal, discussed the impact of COVID-19 on Florida businesses and jobs. A recent economic impact study revealed that more than 336,000 jobs in the hospitality industry were eliminated by COVID-19. And if Ballot Amendment 2 is passed, economists estimated an additional 158,000 jobs will be killed.
Morgan, a trial lawyer in Orlando, said: “I would tell small business, what you gotta do, is just you got to up your game and do a better job if you want to be competitive.”
“…The truth is a lot of big donors like the idea of paying people slavelike wages, where you just cannot live,” remarked Morgan.
According to a recent report issued by Florida TaxWatch, state and local governments will be forced to pay $540 million more if Ballot Amendment 2 is passed, increasing the burden on taxpayers.
“When we are talking about $540 million dollars and that’s by year 5. That’s a less than 1% impact on the state budget…. it’s almost nothing,” said Ben Pollara, Senior Campaign Strategist and Advisor of Florida for a Fair Wage.
“In my world, [$540] million dollars is a heck of a lot of money,” responded Johnson. “And not only that, we look at the decrease in the state income collected through taxes during COVID, it was $1.5 billion dollars. …That’s a third of the budget that you are talking about being a ‘drop in the bucket’.”
Ballot Amendment 2 is a proposed amendment to the Florida constitution that would mandate Florida businesses pay a minimum wage of $15 an hour by 2026. Similar initiatives have been adopted in liberal cities across the United States, including Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago and Washington, D.C. This initiative has proven to kill jobs, cut hours and close businesses.
“I think that Amendment 2, if this passes, is going to hurt people across the state of Florida and that’s why I am urging you to vote no,” said Johnson. “It’s gonna kill jobs. It’s gonna be a lethal blow to the Florida economy that is trying to recover from COVID.”
“I have done this job for 20 plus years and I have raised five boys doing it,” said Heather Parsons, a server and bartender at the Crab Trap in Destin who opposes Ballot Amendment 2. “…This directly affects me and my family. I won’t be able to afford to only work one job and still be at home with my kids.”
To view the entire conversation, visit: https://www.facebook.com/TheNewsPress/videos/1427833824093949.
Amendment 2 Hurts You is a campaign to raise awareness for the consequences of Ballot Amendment 2 on small businesses, workers and the economy.
Learn more about how Ballot Amendment 2 will devastate Florida:
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Help save Florida jobs by voting no on Ballot Amendment 2 this November.