Yahoo Finance: Florida raises its minimum wage to $10 per hour, raise to $15 expected for 2026

Yahoo Finance, Sep 30, 2021

Jared Meyers, Owner of Legacy Vacation Resorts & Tony’s Bar & Grill, joins Yahoo Finance to discuss the minimum wage increase in Florida, outlook on price inflations, and supply chain bottlenecks.

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Video Transcript

... Business owner Jared Meyers owns Legacy Vacation Resorts and Tony's Bar & Grill in Florida. He joins us now to talk about the impact on his business. We're also joined by Yahoo Finance's Aarthi Swaminathan-- so good to have you both here. Jared, what has the sentiment on the ground there been like among the business community as this pay hike goes into effect today?

JARED MEYERS: I guess it depends on if you were for or against it in the first place. But those that were in favor of it are quite excited that it has moved forward, and we also believe that more of a raise is needed as soon as possible. We know it's going up about $1 a year from here forward for the next five years. But it can't happen soon enough, I would say, for our economy and our workers.

AARTHI SWAMINATHAN: Jared, you own Tony's Bar & Grill... as well as the Legacy Vacation business. How deep was that impact when you went from $8.65 to $10? I think yours is a little bit higher. And how difficult is it to attract labor during this period?

JARED MEYERS: So we were already paying in excess of the increase. ... I can't tell you how much it has helped us over these last, you know, year and a half or two years, where our industry was hit incredibly hard by reduced revenue and...the COVID consequences. But due to us paying more and our employees being more engaged, we were able to keep more of them staffed and on board. And we came through the hardest part of the shutdown in a very strong position that we definitely wouldn't have done if we hadn't shown our employees that we cared enough about them to pay them... what I would say is a fair wage. ...

So we have a commitment to a living wage as an organization, and we increase it every year to that. ...before year-end, we'll definitely be at that in excess of $15 as a company, and that will apply in all the states that we're in. And we'll continue to increase it each year thereafter. ...

there's a lot of additional benefits to this. I think people look at this and they say, wow, it just costs more money. But they don't realize that there's really good positives, too. I mean, the engagement of our employees-- it's hard to put a dollar amount on it. But I can just tell you firsthand, going through the last year and a half, that it got us through this crisis. I don't know that we would be here if our employers weren't so engaged with what they were doing. ...

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