Special to Lake Okeechobee News
South Central Florida Life, September 25, 2023
Florida’s minimum wage will increase from $11 to $12 an hour on Sept. 30 and business leaders across Florida are welcoming the raise, saying it will boost consumer spending, bolster local businesses and strengthen the economy. Florida’s minimum wage will continue to increase by $1 per year until it reaches $15 in 2026, followed by cost of living increases in subsequent years.
Florida voters overwhelmingly approved Amendment 2 in 2020 to raise the state minimum wage. Business owners and executives across the state came together in the Florida Business for a Fair Minimum Wage coalition to advocate for the raise.
Business owners commented about the Sept. 30 increase:
Jared Meyers, owner of Legacy Vacation Resorts in Orlando, Kissimmee, Palm Coast and Indian Shores; Tony’s Bar & Grill in Orlando; and Salt Palm Development in St. Petersburg; and founding director of Climate First Bank in St. Petersburg and Orlando: “We welcome Florida’s minimum wage increase! Paying our employees a fair wage allows them to focus on providing excellent service, which keeps our customers happy. It helps us retain the great workers we have and also makes hiring easier. Taking care of our employees and customers is key to the hospitality that is central to Legacy Vacation Resorts.”
Danielle Ferrari, owner of Valhalla Resale in Tampa and St. Petersburg: “Employees are also consumers, and the minimum wage increase means that Floridians will have more money in their pockets to spend at small businesses like mine. It will boost sales and revenue. We all do better as minimum wage increases recirculate back into our local economy and workers can make a living.”
Richard Nesbit, owner of Alta Systems, a printing and mailing company in Gainesville: “Florida continues to reap the benefits of the minimum wage increases passed by voters in 2020. This year’s increase will help workers make ends meet and strengthen consumer spending, and it will help make businesses better. Paying a living wage is central to our continued growth. We’re able to hire and retain great employees that keep our customers coming back.”
Greg Noonan, owner of Connected Landscapes in Orlando: “Florida’s minimum wage increase will help strengthen local businesses across our state. By paying fair wages and taking care of our employees through profit sharing and other benefits, we have been able to continue hiring and growing this year. Our workers make our company a success, and we remain committed to providing a workplace that works for them.”
Satchel Raye, owner of Satchel’s Pizza in Gainesville: “With people continuing to struggle with the rising cost of living, Florida’s minimum wage increase is imperative. By paying our own employees above the minimum wage, we can make sure we’re attracting the best, most loyal talent for our company. It’s an investment that’s necessary and well worth it for my business in the long run.”
In 2022, Nebraska showed continued strong public support for raising the minimum wage across the political spectrum when voters there passed a ballot initiative to raise their state minimum wage to $15 by 2026 and then adjust it for the cost of living in future years.
To speak with Florida business owners supportive of raising the minimum wage, please contact Lena Rueck at firstname.lastname@example.org or (801) 822-7990.