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By Samantha Bernt
1011 Now, KOLN, Lincoln, Jan. 15, 2023

Nebraskans voted and now they’re seeing the impacts. In January, the state’s minimum wage went up from $9 to $10.50 with increases coming for the next three years.

On Sunday, 10/11 NOW spoke with a local business to see how the hike in wages impacts them.

Since voters approved the initiative, the state’s minimum wage will increase by $1.50 each year until 2026, where it will cap off at $15 an hour.

In Downtown Lincoln, a Novel Idea Bookstore has seen many minimum wage increases over their 31 years in business.

“We haven’t had [a minimum wage increase] since 2016,” said Cinnamon Dokken, owner of A Novel Idea Bookstore. “And you know, we want to keep our wages high, we’d like to pay more than minimum wage. And the best way for us to do that is if working people have money, then in a consumer economy, you know, those revenues rise, and we’re able to fund those raises that we want to give.”

Dokken said the increase has not only impacted her employee’s paychecks, but business as well.

“When working people have money, they spend money, and our prices don’t need to go up,” Dokken said. “If we have more volume of sales, which has happened time and time again. We expect to sell more books. We’re already seeing a great start to January.” ...

Nebraska Appleseed, who was a part of a coalition to get the initiative on the ballot, said the raise was critical to keeping up with the rising costs of living.

“The whole point of raising our minimum wage, is to make sure that as things get more expensive, as childcare and medicine and food and housing gets more expensive, that wages increase,” said Ken Smith, Nebraska Appleseed.

Dokken agrees.

“You put money in the hands of working people, they spend money, they support local businesses, the rising tide lifts all boats,” Dokken said. ...

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