Payment firm CEO cuts own salary to boost employee wages

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The chief executive of Gravity Payments has given up a large chunk of his salary to give all of his employees a $70,000 minimum wage.

Dan Price runs Seattle-based Gravity Payments, a company which provides merchants with a variety of payment services such as credit and debit card processing, electronic check payment processing and e-commerce. Gravity processed $6.5b in transactions for more than 12,000 businesses last year.

After reading an article on how a person’s wage is linked to their happiness, Price decided to raise all of his employees’ wages. The amount of profit that Gravity Payments will now earn is said to be half as much as expected due to the minimum wage increase.

Price was said to be earning an estimated $1m a year, but has decided to lower that to $70,000 in order to help his employees. The average salary at Gravity currently stands at $48,000 a year.

‘‘I really do view everything I do as a responsibility. Seeing growing inequality and how it’s harder to just make ends meet and live the normal American dream … and the wages just aren’t keeping up. It’s not about making money, it’s about making a difference,’’ said Price to The Today Show.

Price, who was named Entrepreneur Magazines 2014 Entrepreneur of the Year, announced the news to all of his 120 employees together and the revelation was met with amazement and great surprise. One of Price’s employees, a single mother in her twenties said that she could now afford her own home because of her boss’ shock announcement.

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