Legislators in Washington, D.C., have proposed an act that would require higher wages for the largest tier of retailers. According to the Washington Business Journal, the Large Retailer Accountability Act would set standards for what are commonly termed “big box” stores. The district’s move brings positive exposure for small businesses in the area and across the United States, as Inc Magazine reports organizations employing less than 100 people saw the largest increase in wages of all business sizes in 2012.

Kudos for the little guy
Inc Magazine’s report that small business have had the best year for increased wages may offer major corporations financial investment advice in how they can better employee and community relations through improved pay. Although big guys like Walmart are most visible in the media, the source claims that these types of retailers are not the best at sending workers home with bigger paychecks as the months go on.

The Payscale Index notes that small firms can make due when financial times are tough, often better than corporations with billions invested.

Inc notes that people may be shocked to learn the Index found several areas of work that have not seen substantial external growth in recent years, like communications and the construction industry, have had great success in raising weekly pay for employees.

Big business, small communities
The bill introduced by the District’s Council would make it law that any location of a corporation that makes $1 billion or more annually and takes up 75,000 square feet or more must offer $11.75 per hour at minimum as well as offer affordable medical insurance plans to workers, says the source.

Steven Restivo, a spokesperson for Walmart, claims the proposed legislation may prove hurtful to the retailer’s financial growth.

“Given how underserved this city is from a grocery and retail standpoint, we think any action that seeks to block economic development is misguided,” Restivo told the Business Journal.

Many small businesses, however, continue to increase wages in regions across the country thanks to smaller hits to a financial plan in times of national financial trouble. 

“Often in the hands of entrepreneurs or families, small businesses with up to 99 employees are typically more flexible when economic shifts occur but can lack the deep pockets to survive a major decline in the economy,” the Index claims.

While Inc reports small organizations are currently in a rut with hiring, the consistently increasing wages seen among this size businesses shows, according to the Index’s findings, that local businesses can survive major shifts in the nation’s economy that bigger players may fall victim to.