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By Nebraska Business for a Fair Minimum Wage
Omaha Daily Record, Nov 14, 2022

Nebraska business owners are celebrating the passage of Initiative 433, saying raising the minimum wage will boost consumer spending, strengthen Nebraska’s workforce, and bolster local businesses. Initiative 433 will gradually raise the state minimum wage by $1.50 a year until it reaches $15 in 2026.

More than 300 businesses joined the Nebraska Business for a Fair Minimum Wage coalition, supporting Initiative 433. Business owners signed theNebraska Business for a Fair Minimum Wage Statement, noting that minimum wage increases go right back into the economy as spending at local businesses. Raising the minimum wage will also reduce costly employee turnover and lead to increased productivity and better customer service.

 “Cheers to Nebraska voters for passing Initiative 433,” said Lindsey Clements, owner of Vis Major Brewing Co. in Omaha. “We would not have a successful business without the commitment of our staff and our commitment to fair pay. Raising the minimum wage will strengthen Nebraska’s workforce, businesses and communities.”

“Local businesses like mine depend on local spending,” said Cinnamon Dokken, owner of A Novel Idea Bookstore in Lincoln. “The last time Nebraska increased the minimum wage, our revenues grew and we raised our wages. We look forward to that again with the passage of Initiative 433. Raising the minimum wage will put more money in workers’ pockets and foster the better job performance that is vital for small business competitiveness.”

Dave Titterington, owner of Wild Bird Habitat Stores in Lincoln and Omaha, said, “Raising the minimum wage will help workers make ends meet and spend more at businesses across Nebraska. Higher wages will improve productivity and reduce the turnover that costs businesses time and money in hiring and training replacement workers. Businesses do better when they shift employees from the expense column and into the investment column. Employees are the first people customers meet when they come in the door.”

Gail Yenny, owner of Flatwater Apparel in Grand Island, said, “Nebraskans made a great investment in our economy by passing Initiative 433. As a business owner for more than 40 years, I know it’s the people who build your business. The returns on investing in employees are big when you treat people fairly. Raising the minimum wage will help Nebraska thrive.”

Amelia Rosser, owner of Sheelytown Market in Omaha, said, “If you want employees to care about your business you should care about your employees. That starts with decent pay. My employees are committed, provide great customer service, and help my business grow. Nebraskans showed they cared about workers and businesses by raising the minimum wage.”

Steph Terry, director of operations, Morrow Collision Center in Lincoln, said, “Voters did the right thing for workers and businesses in passing Initiative 433. We know from experience that fair pay drives hiring, employee retention, and the excellent service our customers count on. Raising the minimum wage will help our state build a stronger workforce and economy.”

“Raising the minimum wage will boost consumer spending and help small businesses stay competitive,” said Mikaela Krueger, owner of Optika Curated Eyewear in Hastings. “Fair pay helps businesses hire and retain employees and deliver the service that keeps customers coming back. Initiative 433 gradually phases in minimum wage increases so businesses can plan for payroll changes and see improvements in their workforce and sales going forward.”

Nebraska’s minimum wage will increase from $9 to $10.50 per hour on Jan. 1, 2023, $12 on Jan. 1, 2024, $13.50 on Jan. 1, 2025, and $15 on Jan. 1, 2026, followed by annual cost of living adjustments so the minimum wage does not lose purchasing power.

Nebraska now joins multiple states that will already have a minimum wage of $15 or higher by the time it reaches $15 in January 2026, including California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Washington State. Florida will reach $15 in September 2026.

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