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By Erin Bamer
Omaha World Herald, Dec 25, 2022

INCOLN — Nebraskans earning the lowest wages in the state will start the new year with a pay raise. On Jan. 1, the state’s minimum wage will rise from $9 per hour to $10.50 per hour. It’s the first increase in a series of gradual raises that will take the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2026 in line with a ballot initiative that passed in November. ...

Dave Titterington, who owns two Wild Bird Habitat Stores in Lincoln, already pays his employees above minimum wage. The minimum he pays his 10-12 employees is $12 an hour ...

Titterington said while many employers see their workers as a liability, to him his employees are an asset. Providing his workers what he considers a fair wage has a noticeable impact on the success of his business, he said.

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, instead of struggling, his business grew, largely because of the work his employees put in expanding phone and online ordering. Much of the federal financial aid his business received during this time, he used to support employees’ wages and bonuses, he said.

Staffing shortages have challenged multiple businesses across Nebraska for over a year, including Titterington’s, but he said offering competitive wages has been a major factor in their continued operation.

“I don’t see how you can go wrong,” he said. ...

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