The Daily Rundown: Maryland Raises Minimum Wage and SMBs Slow Down on Hiring

In today’s daily rundown, the state of Maryland raises the minimum wage and small businesses slow down their recruitment efforts.

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The Daily Rundown

Welcome to the Small Business Run Down. Each day we bring you stories and trends that impact small business owners and their workforce.

It’s Wednesday, which is as good a time as any to look at increases in the minimum wage and employer 401K contribution limits and the decrease in the number of small businesses currently hiring.

Maryland joins growing number of states raising the minimum wage

Maryland lawmakers overruled Gov. Larry Hogan by a wide margin, adding their state to the growing list of places mandating that businesses pay workers more than the federal minimum. Under the new law, Maryland businesses with more than 15 employees have until 2025 to begin paying workers $15 per hour. Companies with fewer than 15 employees get an extra year to meet the standard. Maryland is the sixth state to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour.

The Number: 19. Since the start of 2019, a total of 19 states have raised the minimum wage from the national rate of $7.25 per hour.

The Quote: “The small business community has been clear throughout the debate that this legislation would be devastating to them.”

Not hiring? You’re not alone…

Capital One released a report today indicating that concerns about the near-future economy have caused small business owners to scale back hiring plans for the next 6 months. The report found that, though 59% of company heads are generally optimistic about the health of their own company, concerns about economic conditions and stock market volatility will cause 49% of small business owners to be more conservative with inventory.

The Number: 29%. Of the businesses surveyed, only 29% of them have plans to hire new employees in the next six months, down from 33% in 2018.

The Quote: “Along with the economy, SBOs are also nervous about the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning on business.”

Employer 401K match limit grows in 2019

Rising inflation factors into the new 401K employer match limit for 2019, resulting in an increase of $500 per year to brings the new contribution maximum up to $19,000 per employee per year. Workers should check with their HR departments for specifics on their company’s 401K matching policy.

The Number: 6%. The “first 6% rule” is likely to remain the average for employer contributions to 401K programs in 2019

The Quote: “However, even if your employer only matches part of your 401K, it’s still a good idea to contribute your maximum amount because of the tax deferral perk.”

Small business owners battle burnout by prioritizing self care

If reading the business news makes your blood pressure rise, this piece on coping strategies for small business owners from the Associated Press is for you. Faced with the relentless stress of running a company, five different small business owners weigh in on ways to combat burnout. After all, workplace wellness should start at the top.

The Number: 30. Annemarie Fowler, owner of an online learning website, builds time for R&R throughout her day, scheduling 30 minutes for pleasure reading each afternoon.

The Quote: “My body ached. I was exhausted, moody, eating poorly. I was putting everything, everyone, the business first and foremost and hadn’t taken any days off.”

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