Feel Good Inc.

With all the crazy, sometimes there are dark stories in the news. It’s always great to hear a feel-good story that involves people’s lives getting better. Not only that but employees being given more choices, and CEO’s doing right by their employees. In Idaho, employees at a Boise based business called ChargeitPro had their lives changed forever this week when, after being recently acquired by credit-card processing company, Gravity Payments, they were met with an incredible surprise. All workers who were making the companies minimum salary, which was $40,000, would see an immediate pay bump of $10,000, and within five years, the chief executive instituted a $70000 minimum wage for everyone.

ChargeitPro had been recently acquired by Gravity Payments, and when the group moved into a new office space, the CEO, Dan Price flew in to welcome them, bringing with him news that would shock all of his new employees. Before the acquisition, many of the ChargeitPro employees were making less than 30,000 dollars a year. 

Gravity Payments CEO, Dan Price, made headlines in 2015 when the chief executive instituted a $70,000 minimum wage for everyone in his entire office. He cut his own salary from $1.1 million dollars to $70,000 and used the difference, along with a percentage of company profits, to phase-in a $70,000 minimum wage over three years. In some cases, employees’ salaries doubled with the increase. At the time, the average salary at Gravity Payments was $48,000.

Price, who started the company out of his college dorm room, almost lost his company in 2008 when the recession knocked 20% of his revenue in a single day. He said that most of his employees stuck with him through that experience, and the firm managed to avoid any layoffs or price raises. Even before Price instituted the $70,000 minimum wage phase-in, he had already been increasing employee’s salaries by 20% a year since 2012.

Many employees of Gravity at the time, who live and work in expensive Seattle, were exuberant about the increase in salary, though people outside of the company seemed doubtful that it was sustainable. Over four years later, it seems that Gravity has defied all the expectations, with profits skyrocketing.  

Now in 2019, after acquiring ChargeitPro, Dan Price is sticking with the same philosophy that rocketed his company to success, and changing his new employees’ lives for the better.

Reactions in the new offices in Boise — where Price brought the same minimum salary pledge as the Seattle headquarters despite there being a lower cost of living — were mostly shock and happiness. He even, “Got a lot of hugs and high-fives.” Price has long been an advocate of equal pay in corporate America. It’s a really nice story to hear in a society that has seen so many astronomical corporate pay disparities, and hopefully, there will be more stories like this in the world. 

More feel-good stories like this, please!

Authored by Lianne Hikind

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