In an op-ed published to The Daily Progress, Renee Robinson is using real stories from Virginia business owners to illustrate the ongoing struggle for a paid sick day standard in our state. From a BBQ owner in Richmond to the head of an auto repair shop to a Charlottesville-based construction company, Renee sought out the opinions of those who would be required to implement a paid sick day standard.

Somewhat surprisingly, the business owners she spoke to didn’t oppose a statewide sick day mandate, they actually supported it, but were clear that the General Assembly had some work to do in order for it to happen. One of the business owners that Renee spoke to, Buz Grossberg of Buz and Ned’s Real Barbecue, had this to say about his support of a statewide paid sick leave standard:

“I prefer a mandate, because when there is a standard it makes it a level playing field. Most restaurants aren’t going to adhere unless it’s required

If my labor expenses get too far out of sync with my competitor’s labor expenses, then it’s a disaster. If everyone had to meet the [same] standard of providing paid sick days, then we’d all be in the same position and we’d consistently take the same action to pay for it. But if I’m the only one who does, then I lose business. So it’s not that I don’t want to pay for it, it’s that the market will price me out if we don’t all do it together.”

The fact of the matter is, providing sick leave for employees works for businesses. Yet, at the same time, businesses need legislative measures in place to ensure that others can’t evade the system. It’s an issue that requires an “all-in” solution, and like Renee Robinson says, implementing that solution is an “opportunity to make sure we take care of each other — and our economy.”

You can read Renee’s full op-ed on the ongoing debate for a paid sick day standard here.