In Maine, more than 150,000 small businesses operate and hire more than half of the state’s total workforce. As employers, we want to offer robust benefits like paid and family leave because it helps us compete with larger businesses for talent. But this benefit carries a high cost that we simply can’t afford on our own.
Workforce shortages are preventing many of us from operating at full capacity, which is why we need support from state legislators like you to help level the playing field. One way to boost Maine’s small business community is by creating a state-administered paid family and medical leave program. A recent legislative commission recommended a proposal that would provide up to 16 weeks of family and medical leave with partial wage replacement. The program would be financed through a 1% payroll tax split between employers and employees, making it easier and more affordable for employers to implement this benefit. It would, in turn, level the playing field for small businesses like mine by enabling us to compete on more equal footing with larger businesses that typically have the resources to offer robust benefits like paid family and medical leave.
What’s more, the small business community strongly supports these types of programs. A Small Business Majority survey found a majority of small business owners (73%) support key investments in paid family and medical leave, which will help them in retaining and supporting their workforce.
We encourage Maine legislators to consider the benefits of establishing a state paid family and medical leave program. Doing so will help small business owners like me to compete fairly in this changing marketplace.
Sign our letter to state legislators to urge them to pass this proposal.
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