Contact: Cat Ulrich
firstname.lastname@example.org, (202) 630-7839
Dec. 27, 2021—Twenty-one states are ringing in the new year with minimum wage increases. Another four states and the District of Columbia have raises scheduled later in 2022. Business owners across the country are speaking in support of the increases, saying they will boost consumer spending, improve employee retention and productivity, and help build a widely shared economic recovery.
In July, Delaware became the 10th state to enact a $15 minimum wage – joining California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island. The first step in Delaware’s raise takes effect Jan. 1, 2022.
“It’s great news that 21 states are ringing in the new year with minimum wage raises,” said Holly Sklar, CEO of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage. “When the minimum wage is too low it hurts workers who can’t afford the basics and it hurts businesses that count on customers with money to spend. Minimum wage raises pay off in increased consumer spending and better employee retention, productivity and customer service. As the federal minimum wage remains stuck at an inexcusable $7.25 an hour, state increases are vital for strengthening our recovery.”
John Schall, owner of El Jefe’s Taqueria with locations in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, said, “Fair pay is a crucial part of the success of El Jefe’s. We haven’t had to cut back because we can’t find or keep staff like some restaurants. We’re growing! Our employees can afford to stay with us, so we don’t waste time and money because of high turnover. Fairly treated, more experienced staff are more efficient and keep our customers coming back. Raising the minimum wage will put more money in people’s pockets and help businesses and our economy grow.”
Kristen Deptula, owner of the Canalside Inn, in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, said, “We’re looking forward to Delaware’s minimum wage increases as it moves to $15. This will promote a stronger economic recovery from the pandemic for working people and businesses. As a hospitality business, we know that treating our guests well starts with treating our employees well. With minimum wage increases, more businesses will see that fairer pay strengthens employee retention and customer satisfaction.”
Michael Lastoria, founder and CEO of &pizza, growing fast with locations in D.C., Maryland, Virginia, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania`, New Jersey and New York, said, “Since the start of the pandemic, &pizza has opened 20 new locations and we are planning to open 40 more in the next 12 months or so. Our focus has always been on providing quality jobs and higher wages is the single clearest way to say to our workforce, ‘We value you.’ All of our work counts for nothing if our people cannot live on the wages we pay them.”
Mike Draper, owner of Raygun clothing and design, with locations in Des Moines, Cedar Rapids and Iowa City; Kansas City, Missouri; Omaha, Nebraska; and Chicago, Illinois, said, “Paying a living wage is core to our business model. It helped us build a great staff and customer base that has stuck with us during the pandemic. And it’s helping us grow. Minimum wage increases mean more money for our customers and local businesses. We’re hoping to ring in future New Years with minimum wage raises in Iowa and Nebraska as well as in Illinois and Missouri.”
Karter Louis, CEO of Soul Slice pizza in Oakland, California, said, “For too long, the restaurant industry has put employees last – a low-wage model that has proven short-sighted and unsustainable. If restaurant owners want their businesses to thrive, they need to start by investing in their employees. At Soul Slice we know that happy employees make for happy customers. Raising the minimum wage is good economic policy and good business.”
Jon Cooper, President of Spectronics Corporation in Melville, New York, said, “I’m pleased that Long Island is heading into the new year with a $15 minimum wage. Minimum wage increases boost consumer spending and are great fuel for our economy. Raising the minimum wage also encourages better business practices. With a higher minimum wage, businesses will see lower employee turnover, reduced hiring and training costs, and increased productivity. All of these are especially important in light of the current labor shortage.”
Gina Schaefer, owner of A Few Cool Hardware Stores, with 13 Ace Hardware stores in Maryland, D.C. and Virginia, said, “Minimum wage increases don’t go into workers’ pockets and disappear. The money recirculates as spending at local businesses like ours. Whole communities are strengthened. Fair pay has always been key to the great service that keeps our customers coming back. And paying better wages and benefits has been key to our ability to retain and hire staff throughout the pandemic.”
Business owners in states raising their minimum wage are available for comment through the New Year.
Scheduled increases for Dec. 31, 2021 and Jan. 1, 2022 include:
● California increases to $15 on Jan. 1, 2022. Small businesses with 25 employees or fewer have an extra year to comply, reaching $14 on Jan. 1, 2022 and $15 in 2023. After the minimum wage reaches $15 for all employees, it will be adjusted annually for cost of living increases.
● Delaware increases to $10.50 on Jan. 1, 2022, with future increases of $11.75 in 2023, $13.25 in 2024, and $15 in 2025.
● Illinois increases to $12 on Jan. 1, 2022, with future increases of $1 a year to reach $15 in 2025.
● Maryland increases to $12.50 on Jan. 1, 2022, with future increases to reach $15 in 2025. Small businesses with fewer than 15 employees reach $12.20 on Jan. 1, 2022, with future increases to reach $15 in 2026.
● Massachusetts increases to $14.25 on Jan. 1, 2022 and $15 in 2023.
● Michigan increases to $9.87 on Jan. 1, 2022. It is scheduled for small annual increases until reaching $12.05 in 2030 “or a subsequent calendar year.”
● Missouri increases to $11.15 on Jan. 1, 2022 and $12 in 2023, and then is indexed for the cost of living.
● New Jersey increases to $13 on Jan. 1, 2022, $14 in 2023, and $15 in 2024, and then is indexed. Businesses with fewer than six employees increase to $11.90 on Jan. 1, 2022 and rise gradually to $15 in 2026, with further increases to reach parity with the regular minimum wage in 2028.
● New Mexico increases to $11.50 on Jan. 1, 2022 and $12 in 2023.
● New York
o Long Island and Westchester increase to $15 on Dec. 31, 2021.
o Upstate New York increases to $13.20 on Dec. 31, 2021, with future increases based on an indexed schedule set by the Division of the Budget in consultation with the Department of Labor.
o New York City already has a $15 minimum wage.
● Rhode Island increases to $12.25 on Jan. 1, 2022, $13 in 2023, $14 in 2024, and $15 in 2025.
● Virginia increases to $11 on Jan. 1, 2022 and $12 in 2023. Increases to $13.50 in 2025 and $15 in 2026 can occur if the General Assembly enacts them again by July 1, 2024.
States with indexing where annual cost of living adjustments take effect Jan. 1, 2022 include:
● Arizona increases to $12.80
● Colorado increases to $12.56
● Maine increases to $12.75
● Minnesota increases to $10.33 for employers with annual gross revenues of at least $500,000 and $8.42 for employers with less than $500,000
● Montana increases to $9.20
● Ohio increases to $9.30
● South Dakota increases to $9.95
● Vermont increases to $12.55
● Washington state increases to $14.49
Looking ahead, Connecticut will raise its minimum wage to $14 on July 1, 2022 and $15 on June 1, 2023, with annual indexing beginning Jan. 1, 2024. Nevada, Oregon and the District of Columbia also have increases scheduled for July 1, 2022. Florida’s minimum wage will increase to $11 on Sept. 30, 2022 and then by $1 a year until reaching $15 in 2026; Florida will then resume indexing.
The federal minimum wage has been stuck for more than 12 years at $7.25 an hour since July 24, 2009 – the longest period in history without a raise. In February 2021, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Raise the Wage Act, which would increase the federal minimum wage to $15 by 2025, as part of the American Rescue Plan, but the Senate did not follow suit.
More than 1,000 businesses and business organizations – and counting – have signed the Business for a Fair Minimum Wage Statement calling for a $15 federal minimum wage.
To speak to business owners supportive of raising the minimum wage, please contact Cat Ulrich at email@example.com or (202) 630-7839.
Business for a Fair Minimum Wage is a national network of business owners and executives and business organizations that believe a fair minimum wage makes good business sense. www.businessforafairminimumwage.org.
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