Small Business Owners Split On Minimum Wage Increase

Small business owners across the U.S. are split when it comes to raising the minimum wage, according to a new survey from OnDeck®, the leader in online lending to small business and SCORE, the nation's largest network of volunteer, expert business mentors. Results show that 43% of small business owners support a minimum wage increase, while 39% do not support an increase. Additionally, the data highlights that 73% of small business owners agree that the minimum wage in their state is not a "living wage." 


Small business owners are split on their state's minimum wage:

  • 44% of business owners believe the minimum wage is too low.
  • 40% believe it is about right.
  • 16% believe it is too high


A majority of small business owners believe a minimum wage increase would significantly impact their small business:

  • 55% of business owners believe a higher minimum wage would hurt their business; 16% believe a minimum wage increase would positively affect their business.
  • 44% responded that an increased minimum wage would result in cut backs to investments in their business; 33% said they would not have to cut back as a result of an increased minimum wage.
  • 37% said they would raise other employee wages proportionately, while 34% said they would not, and 30% were not sure.


A majority of small business owners agree the minimum wage is not a "living wage":

  • 73% of business owners do not believe the minimum wage is a living wage.
  • 11% believe it is a living wage.

"This data shows that the majority of small businesses have a very small staff, and that a majority (58%) already pay their staff more than the minimum wage," said SCORE CEO Bridget Weston. "For the majority of small business owners, the question is not whether the minimum wage is appropriate at a state level; rather, it's how they will respond to an increase, whether that means adjusting other employees' wages proportionately, or investing differently in their business."

Download the infographic for more information on small business minimum wage trends. Survey results were collected from 897 small business owner respondents via email in Nov. 2019.

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