To the Editor:
I was disturbed to read the diatribe against raising the minimum wage that Gov. Paul LePage published in this newspaper last month, in which he claimed to be speaking on behalf of Mount Desert Island small businesses.
I’ve been a small business owner in Bar Harbor for 24 years. My husband, Ralph, and I opened the Morning Glory Take-out and Cafe in 1992.
Our hard work and the hard work of our employees allowed us to succeed, eventually opening the bakery and a catering business, and now the Acacia House Inn.
It’s because of my experience as an entrepreneur that I strongly support the referendum that will be on the ballot this November to gradually raise Maine’s minimum wage to $12 an hour by 2020. Personally, if it was up to me, the minimum wage would be higher than that and start now. But the gradual phase-in and the amount seem a very reasonable compromise.
Who can fully support themselves, let alone a family, on Maine’s current minimum wage of $7.50 an hour? This is only $15,500 for a whole year of full-time work. Higher wages will put money in the pockets of people who will spend it locally all year and strengthen our communities.
LePage should stop pretending to speak for all Maine small business owners. We can speak for ourselves, and many of us are speaking out for raising Maine’s minimum wage.