CNBC: Delaware is expected to move to a $15 per hour minimum wage. What that could mean for the push to increase the national pay rate

By Lorie Konish
CNBC, June 24 2021

When Kristen Deptula and her husband bought the Canalside Inn in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, in October 2019, they had no idea the coming summer season at the shore town would mostly be a bust due to Covid-19.

The innkeepers were able to access federal funding through the Paycheck Protection Program to help keep them going.

Deptula also credits another decision — paying their staff a $15 per hour minimum wage — with helping the business transition through the pandemic. ...

‘Vital tool’ for recovery

groups like Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, a network of business organizations, owners and executives, applaud the Delaware decision.

When the cost of living increases, it makes it so that people cannot even afford the basics, said Alissa Barron-Menza, vice president at Business for a Fair Minimum Wage. The bottom line: Businesses need customers who can afford their products and services, she said. ...

Barron-Menza points out the minimum wage was first enacted to lift the struggling economy during the Great Depression.

“As we continue to emerge in this current economy from the pandemic, we need that same kind of boost again,” Barron-Menza said. “It’s bad for business and communities when working people can’t afford even the basics.” ...

Sarah Titus, owner of the Comic Book Shop in Wilmington, Delaware, said she supports the move to a $15 minimum wage.

Since she and her partner bought the store about 11 years ago, they have made a point of paying an hourly wage above the state’s minimum required rate.

Her decision has helped retain employees at the store... More important, she said, it also helps give employees some peace of mind.

“We want to know that our people aren’t struggling,” Titus said. “We want them to be able to come in fresh for the day and not be stressed about paying their bills.”

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