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By Tim Murphy
City & State New York, Sep 6, 2022

... a coalition of state lawmakers and advocates will push in next year's legislative session to raise the minimum wage incrementally over the next few years ...

One business owner already on board is Jonathon Welch, owner of Talking Leaves Books in Buffalo, who starts his staffers at just above the upstate minimum wage of $13.20 but also has workers currently making as much as $18.

“People need to make a living wage, which the current minimum wage is not,” he said. “But also, if people make more money, then they’re able to spend more and also don't have to be on food stamps ...”

He also thought, as much research has suggested, that paying people more made them more loyal and efficient workers and reduced turnover, which comes with its own costs. “I want people to work here for a long time and become committed to the store,” he said, “because staff that develops relationships with customers helps me stay in business.” ...

On the pro-hike side, supporters pointed to a 2019 report on the massive New York City restaurant sector from the New School's Center for New York City Affairs and the National Employment Law Project that found that as New York City's minimum wage gradually rose to $15 by that year, "the large wage floor rise did not diminish various indicators of restaurant performance, including job growth."

James Parrott, director of economic and fiscal policies at the Center for New York City Affairs, said the wage hike did not hurt restaurants because “in the wake of a wage increase, turnover goes down, which saves employers on recruitment and training.”

And the wage hikes have good outcomes beyond employers, he said: “If you increase wages, workers tend to spend a lot of that back into the local economy, which increases demand for many businesses.” ...

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