The "Working Should Keep You Out of Poverty" response by Hatz of Americorps VISTA in the May 19 Xpress [letters to the editor] is a wonderful ideal and one every small business should strive [to provide] for their employees. The reality is many small businesses, especially if in their formative years, are not in a position to provide the living wage endorsed by her and others. Many businesses struggle to make their expenses, repay loans to go into business and make a living wage for themselves. Fifty percent of businesses do not last five years.
Small business also creates over 60 percent of jobs in the U.S. To just [patronize] businesses that are Living Wage Certified is to be elitist about deciding who has a chance to succeed and to cut off uncertified businesses' chances of providing new jobs and better wages for their workers in the future, as well as potentially dooming them to failure.
Having a small business does not automatically equate with wealth of owners, but rather, often means years of a lot of hard work, long hours and sacrifice at every level. And with government laws, it keeps only getting more difficult to succeed.
Support all small businesses who perform good, effective service and who provide respect to customers and employees.
— Margaret Stephan