Next year my small business, Springview Pharmacy, will celebrate its 20th anniversary. We have been proud to provide a critical service to Irvington residents, and to play a small but vital role in keeping Irvington healthy. That core mission of keeping our community strong and healthy is why I support a proposed local law that would give all private sector workers the right to earn paid sick days over time.
Tony Sandkamp, owner of Sandkamp Woodworks in New Jersey recently joined a panel of business leaders at the New York Regional Forum on Working Families, organized by the White House and the Department of Labor.
Part of the discussion focused on paid sick days. While many employees take it for granted that their employer will still pay them if they are forced to stay home sick a few days each year, many more workers are not given the option. If employees don’t come to work, they aren’t paid. Even scarier, if they miss work because of sickness, they risk losing their job.
Sandkamp has owned a custom woodworking business in Jersey City for more than 20 years. Sandkamp makes furniture and cabinets that are unique and one of kind – any mistakes can be very costly. ”Paid sick days just makes common sense – even for me and my small business,” said Sandkamp.
“For me, paid sick days is a non-issue since it will improve my employee retention,” said Sandkamp. “The cost of training that employee and replacing them is many times greater. I need people to work at their best every day. If they are sick and feel financial pressure to come into work, they are much more likely to make a mistake or potentially hurt themselves.”
My business bottom line is not only about dollars – it’s about keeping my employees healthy and happy.
The momentum is growing for economy-boosting policies like paid sick days. Laws requiring paid sick days have been passed nationwide- and recently, Jersey City and Newark joined the ranks.
Small business owners across the state support high roads, family friendly laws that are good for small businesses, good for workers, and good for the local economy.
As we work together to build cabinets, paid sick days help build common ground, which makes my business stronger, and my employees’ lives better,” said Sandkamp.
Check out a video of the panel discussion here.
Read op-ed by Newark Business owner Holly Kaplansky here
Read our report about the costs/ benefits Newark’s Earned Sick Day ordinance here
Donna Ross depleted her inheritance money to rebuild her storm-damaged business. Now the Rosses are struggling to make ends meet. Their story is a familiar one.“This winter was devastating. There was nobody in town, no business. I can barely make my payroll,” Ross said.
Jersey City business owner Kristen Scalia drained all available funds to rebuild her business. Still, she was left in the red. Her friends raised the money she needed.“If it wasn’t for that, I know in my heart I’d be out of business and probably out of a home as well,” she said.
Scalia and Ross say the government dropped the ball in helping small businesses recover. And they are not alone.
This morning in Newark, New Jersey Citizen Action lobbied politicians to make the Garden State’s business owners a priority.
NEW BRUNSWICK – As hardworking Americans file their taxes today, it’s a good time to be reminded of how ordinary taxpayers pick up the tab for loopholes in our tax laws. NJPIRG was joined today by Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-6), Geetha Jayaraman, owner of Grab ‘Em Snacks and member of the Main Street Alliance, and Rutgers students to release a new study which revealed that the average New Jersey taxpayer in 2013 would have to shoulder an extra $1,560 in taxes to make up for the revenue lost due to the use of offshore tax havens by corporations and wealthy individuals. New Jerseyans’ extra tax burden is the eighth highest in the nation.
“I am pretty incensed to think that I am paying a higher effective tax rate than huge multinationals like General Electric, Wells Fargo and Verizon- who have paid no federal income tax at all—or even gotten refunds back from the government by taking advantage of offshore tax loopholes and other mechanisms.” -Geetha Jayamaran, owner of Spoon & Sprout Cafe and Grab ‘Em Snacks
Sustainability and Advocacy Empowerment Summit
Wednesday, April 16th from 8:30- 12:00pm
Sheila Oliver Room 465, Essex County Court Complex
Keynote Speaker: Alfa Demmellash, Co-founder and CEO of Jersey City- based nonprofit Rising Tide Capital (RTC), named one of the Five Most Powerful Women Changing the World With Philanthropy by Forbes Magazine.
The Summit will provide an opportunity for small businesses to gain information and action steps on implementing sustainable practices while learning how best to advocate on behalf of their businesses on the local, state and federal level.
The conference will address issues involving economic and environmental sustainability and policy advocacy that are of paramount importance to the health and success of small business owners, their employees, and the local economy. We seek to redefine and revitalize the role of business leadership by engaging small business owners and policymakers in support of solutions that promote small business growth and drive a sustainable economy.
- Stephanie Greenwood, Newark’s Director of Sustainability
- Neha Kumar, B-Lab
- Gail Friedman, ZaGO Manufacturing Company
- Amy Goldsmith, NJ Clean Water Action & Clean Water Fund
- Dr. Nicholas Smith- Sebasto, FOR Solutions
- Gordon McGinnis, New Jersey Policy Perspective (NJPP)
- Yarrow Willman Cole, Rutgers Center for Women and Work
- Peter Skopec, New Jersey Public Interest Research Group (NJ-PIRG)
- Tony Sandkamp, Sandkamp Woodworks