A nationwide coalition of small business owners is advocating an increase in the federal minimum wage as a route to building a stronger economy. At a press conference Wednesday in Washington, D.C., representatives with Business for a Fair Minimum Wage marked the fourth full year since the minimum wage was last increased. Adjusted for inflation, the current $7.25 per hour minimum wage is lower than it was in 1956 at $8.58, or in 1968 when its inflation-adjusted value was $10.74, the organization said. Among the coalition's members is Jeff Furman, chair of Ben & Jerry's board of directors. The ice cream maker pays a starting wage of $16.13 and adjusts its entry pay regularly to ensure it's a living wage, Furman said. Business for a Fair Minimum Wage has launched a new sign-on statement for business people supporting an increase in the federal minimum wage. The Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013 would gradually raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 in three annual steps of 95 cents each and then provide annual adjustments for inflation.