Business Leaders Say New Year Minimum Wage Hikes Will Help Businesses and Economy

Contact: Blake Case
blake@emccommunications.com; 601-832-6079

Dec. 22, 2022 — Twenty-three states are raising their minimum wage to ring in the new year. Four more states and D.C. have increases scheduled later in 2023. Business owners across the country are welcoming the increases, saying they will boost consumer spending, strengthen local economies, and improve employee hiring, retention, productivity and customer service.

In November, Nebraska voters passed Initiative 433, which will gradually raise the state minimum wage to $15. A Business for a Fair Minimum Wage coalition of more than 300 Nebraska businesses supported the increase. The first step of the raise will take place on Jan. 1, 2023, when Nebraska’s minimum wage increases from $9 to $10.50.

The highest statewide minimum wages in effect as of Jan. 1, 2023 will be Massachusetts at $15, California at $15.50, and Washington State at $15.74. The D.C. minimum wage, which increases annually on July 1, is currently $16.10.

“Minimum wage increases are a great boost for the new year,” said Holly Sklar, CEO of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage. “These needed raises don’t stay in workers’ pockets. They energize communities, as workers and their families have more to spend at local businesses. Minimum wage raises also pay off in lower employee turnover, increased productivity and better customer service, which strengthens small business competitiveness. While the federal minimum wage falls further and further behind the cost of living at $7.25 an hour, Nebraska voters passed a $15 minimum wage. Congress should finally get the message and pass a federal raise.”

Dave Titterington, owner of Wild Bird Habitat Stores in Lincoln and Omaha, Nebraska, said, “Nebraska voters passed a $15 minimum wage in November and we’re looking forward to the first step toward $15 in January. It will bring a better new year for workers and businesses. We know from experience that paying employees a living wage increases productivity and brings us happier employees and happier customers. And raising the minimum wage will increase spending at local businesses across Nebraska.”

Andy Faucett, owner of Bambinos restaurant in Springfield, Missouri, said, “As a family business, we’re glad to see Missouri’s minimum wage going up for the new year. It’s an investment in Missouri communities. We pride ourselves on taking care of our customers and our employees. We raised our own starting pay to $14–$15 per hour, and have no trouble finding dependable staff. Our business is better than ever. Raising wages has proven good for business time and again.”

John Schall, owner of El Jefe’s Taqueria, with locations in Massachusetts, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, said, “We’ve overcome economic headwinds since the pandemic hit to quadruple our locations. We couldn’t have done that without investing in our employees. With fair pay we see low employee turnover, which saves us time and money and fortifies our customer service. Minimum wage increases in Massachusetts and New Jersey will bring needed pay raises for workers and more spending at restaurants like ours. And it’s long past time for Pennsylvania to finally raise the minimum wage.”

Michael Lastoria, founder and CEO of &pizza, with locations in D.C., Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York, said, “At &pizza, paying fair wages is vital for our growth, success and reputation in a very competitive industry. All workers should make decent wages whether they work for us or anyone else, and that’s why raising the minimum wage is so important. When workers are valued, businesses are more productive, and communities and economies are stronger.”

Rick Altig, chairman of American Income Life: AO, headquartered in Redmond, WA,  with multiple locations in Washington, California, Arizona and other states, said, “Raising the minimum wage greatly benefits businesses as well as workers. Better pay increases consumer spending and improves employee performance and customer satisfaction. Investing in our employees has paid dividends for our growing business, and raising the minimum wage will pay dividends for local economies.”

Gina Schaefer, owner of A Few Cool Hardware Stores, with 12 Ace Hardware stores in Maryland, D.C. and Virginia, said, “Minimum wage increases go right back into the economy as spending at local businesses like ours. And investing in employees is the best investment a business can make. Customers have a lot of choices and they come back to businesses where employees are happy to work and deliver great customer service.”

Steven Dyme, CEO of Flowers for Dreams, with locations in Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin, said, “Paying good starting wages has enabled us to recruit and retain top talent, and continue growing despite the pandemic. We’ve opened new locations and expanded our delivery footprint to more states in the Midwest. The upcoming minimum wage increases will put more spending money in the hands of consumers and strengthen the business environment.”

Kristen Deptula, owner of the Canalside Inn, in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, said, “As a hospitality business, customer service is a top priority. We know that creating a good environment for our guests starts with creating a good workplace for our employees. Delaware’s minimum wage increase will bolster our state workforce and boost the economy.”

Scheduled increases for Dec. 31, 2022 and Jan. 1, 2023 include (states increasing with annual cost of living adjustments follow):

  • Delaware increases to $11.75 on Jan. 1, 2023, with future increases to $13.25 in 2024 and $15 in 2025.
  • Illinois increases to $13 on Jan. 1, 2023, with future increases to $14 in 2024 and $15 in 2025.
  • Maryland increases to $13.25 on Jan. 1, 2023, with future increases to $14 in 2024 and $15 in 2025. Small businesses with fewer than 15 employees reach $12.80 on Jan. 1, 2023, with future increases to reach $15 in 2026.
  • Massachusetts increases to $15 on Jan. 1, 2023.
  • Michigan is scheduled to increase to $10.10 on Jan. 1, 2023. Pending litigation could affect 2023 and future increases (see MI Dept. of Labor and Economic Opportunity).
  • Missouri increases to $12 on Jan. 1, 2023, and then is indexed for the cost of living.
  • Nebraska increases to $10.50 on Jan. 1, 2023, with future increases to $12 in 2024, $13.50 in 2025, and $15 in 2026, and then is indexed.
  • New Jersey increases to $14.13 on Jan. 1, 2023 and $15 in 2024, and then is indexed. For businesses with less than six employees, it goes to $12.93 on Jan. 1, 2023 and rises to $15 by 2026, with further increases to reach parity with the regular minimum wage in 2028.
  • New Mexico increases to $12 on Jan. 1, 2023.
  • New York: Upstate New York increases to $14.20 on Dec. 31, 2022, en route to $15 under current law. New York City, Westchester County and Long Island are already at $15. A campaign is underway to raise the state minimum wage above $15.
  • Rhode Island increases to $13 on Jan. 1, 2023, $14 in 2024, and $15 in 2025.
  • Virginia increases to $12 on Jan. 1, 2023. Increases to $13.50 in 2025 and $15 in 2026 will 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, 2023 include:

  • Alaska increases to $10.85
  • Arizona increases to $13.85
  • California increases to $15.50
  • Colorado increases to $13.65
  • Maine increases to $13.80
  • Minnesota increases to $10.59 for employers with annual gross revenues of at least $500,000 and $8.63 if less than $500,000
  • Montana increases to $9.95
  • Ohio increases to $10.10
  • South Dakota increases to $10.80
  • Vermont increases to $13.18
  • Washington state increases to $15.74

State increases later in 2023:

  • Connecticut will raise its minimum wage to $15 on June 1, 2023, with annual indexing beginning Jan. 1, 2024.
  • D.C.’s minimum wage will increase to $17 on July 1, 2023.
  • Nevada’s minimum wage is scheduled to increase on July 1, 2023 to $11.25 for employers who do not offer qualifying health insurance and $10.25 for those who do provide health insurance. Under Question 2, passed by voters in November 2022, Nevada’s minimum wage will reach $12 on July 1, 2024, regardless of whether employers provide health benefits.
  • Oregon has a cost of living increase on July 1, 2023.
  • Florida’s minimum wage will increase to $12 on Sept. 30, 2023, and then by $1 a year until reaching $15 in 2026; after that Florida will resume annual indexing.

In addition, numerous city and county minimum wages will increase in 2023. The UC Berkeley Labor Center provides a regularly updated Inventory of US City and County Minimum Wage Ordinances.

The federal minimum wage has been stuck for more than 13 years at $7.25 an hour since July 24, 2009—the longest period in history without a raise.

To schedule interviews with business owners and executives supportive of minimum wage increases, contact Blake Case at blake@emccommunications.com or (601) 832-6079.

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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.

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