14 DC Businesses Pledge a ‘Living Wage for All’ Their Employees

Photo by PoPville flickr user Mr. T in DC

From a press release:

“Tommy Wells was joined by business owners, labor and social justice advocates at a press conference in support of his “Living Wage for All DC” legislation. The press conference was held at the DC Brau Brewing Company where owners, Brandon Skall and Jeff Hancock, showed their support for the “Living Wage for All DC” legislation by announcing they would increase their employees’ salary to $10.25 an hour starting this month. Thirteen other DC businesses joined in the commitment to paying their employees the “Living Wage for All, ” including: BicycleSpace, Inspire BBQ, The Pug, Union Kitchen, Blind Dog Café, Toscana Café, Al Tiramisu, Bike Rack, Big Bear, Chocolate City Brewing, Right Proper Brewing, Law Office of C. Thomas Chartered, and 3 Stars Brewing.

“The Living Wage for All legislation provides DC’s working families and our small businesses the economic stability and financial support they need for success,” said Tommy Wells.

The “Living Wage for All DC” proposal creates a living wage by increasing the minimum wage one dollar over each of the next two years up to $10.25; as well as increasing the District’s standard deduction for personal income taxes to provide relief to low- and moderate-income DC households. The legislation provides a permanent solution by tying future annual increases of the minimum wage to the Consumer Price Index (Urban) – ensuring that the wage keeps up with rising costs of living in the city. To view a copy of the ‘Living Wage for All DC’ legislation click here.

“We believe that by providing a living wage for our employees we are aiding the growth and development of the community and local economy,” said Brandon Skall, co-founder and CEO of DC Brau Brewing Company, “We’re doing this because we think it’s the right thing to do.”

DC Brau opened in 2009 and now employs a staff of 13 at their production brewery on Bladensburg Road.

“We are residents of this city and every day we see how families struggle to keep up with the ever-increasing cost of living here,” said Jeff Hancock, co-founder of DC Brau Brewing Company, “As both business owners and community members, it would not be right for us to continue to grow a thriving business knowing that we were not providing the employees that make up our DC Brau family a fair wage.”

The “Living Wage for All DC” legislation provides tools for small employers to prosper and create jobs. The bill establishes a new tax credit targeted for small retail and restaurant businesses – the major employers of the District’s minimum wage workers. The tax credit is targeted to provide commercial property tax relief to small businesses, regardless of whether they own or lease their space.

“We greatly appreciate Councilmember Wells’ introduction of the Living Wage for All Act. The bill helps open a broad discussion of a much-needed increase to the minimum wage, while also speaking to the need for District residents, especially at lower income levels, to keep more of the money they earn,” said Marina Streznewski, Executive Director of the DC Jobs Council.

For more information and more testimonials visit the Living Wage for All DC webpage.”

9 Comment

  • justinbc

    Posting before someone complains about DC Brau’s actual beer!

    • informative.

    • I like their beers a lot, but their pricing is ridiculous, so I usually pass it by for something as good or better, for a few bucks less. So at the prices they’re charging, I would think that they can certainly afford to pay their employees a living wage.

  • DC Brau is a major trail blazer in this town. Many props to their efforts and willingness to allow others to ride on their coattails.

  • Tommy Wells calling his bill a “Living Wage for All” is only going to short change DC workers.

    According to MIT the living wage for DC is $13.68. Wells’ bill will raise the minimum wage to $10.25. And due to the name people will think that’s it. The other minimum wage increase bills are much more honest in what they do.

  • This is great news. If they can get it to $10.25, and then index to inflation, you then have a wage that people can live on. Getting it to $10.25 means the people with experience are making $11 or $12, and all of a sudden, we are starting to pay people a wage where they can actually afford to live in this area.

  • It’d be nice if Skall could pay people back for helping him out when he needed help before he grandstands about helping local communities and economy. It’s nice to see local boys make it rich by forgetting about those who knew them when they had nothing. I personally thinking “paying past debts” also falls under “the right thing to do.”

  • 14 businesses to show your support!

  • I applaud the small businesses who show more guts and compassion and wisdom than our elected officials by immediately raising their employees wages to $10.25. But let’s be clear that $10.25 is not a living wage. Generously more than the minimum wage, but not a living wage. And let’s also be clear that taking two years to raise the minimum wage to $10.25, as Mr. Wells proposes, is too little, too late. As inflation picks up, the buying power in the increases will erode.

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