BFMW In the News

Spectrum Bay News 9: Small business owners, Florida chamber split as $10 minimum wage takes effect

By Mitch Perry
Spectrum Bay News 9, Sep 30, 2021

Florida’s minimum wage increased Thursday from $8.65 an hour to $10 – the first step towards an eventual $15 an hour minimum wage in 2026. The increase comes via a constitutional amendment passed by more than 61 percent of Floridians in 2020.

Business groups such as the Florida Chamber of Commerce and the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association opposed the measure, but there are small businesses owners who support the increase.

Florida Phoenix: FL will see its first phase of the minimum wage boost — $10 an hour — on Thursday, Sept. 30

By Issac Morgan
Florida Phoenix, Sep 29, 2021

Workers in Florida earning minimum wage will see a significant bump in pay on Thursday – from $8.65 to $10 an hour – the first phase of a wage hike connected to a constitutional amendment approved by voters in 2020. ...

Danielle Ferrari is the owner of a clothing store called Valhalla Resale in Tampa. As a small business owner, Ferrari told the Florida Phoenix in a phone conversation that the wage increase will “stimulate our community.”

“As a small business owner, I am super excited,” she said. “No business should have to exploit anyone in order to survive.”

Leigh Anne Balzekas, co-owner of The Disco Dolls in Tampa, said in a written statement:

Sarasota Magazine: Florida’s Minimum Wage Rises to $10 Thursday

By Cooper Levey-Baker
Sarasota Magazine, Sep 29, 2021

Hundreds of thousands of minimum wage workers in Florida—more than 600,000 of them, in fact—will see a boost in their paychecks starting Thursday, Sept. 30, when the first in a series of increases to the state’s minimum wage takes effect. ...

The increase is thanks to the approval of Amendment 2 by 60.8 percent of Florida voters in last fall’s general election. The amendment was championed by low-wage workers, unions, labor activists, business owners and the influential attorney John Morgan of Morgan & Morgan.

Tampa Bay Creative Loafing: Tampa Bay is getting a minimum wage boost on Thursday, and it’s about damn time

By McKenna Schueler
Tampa Bay Creative Loafing, Sep 28, 2021

After becoming the first state in the South to get on track toward a $15 minimum wage last year, Florida’s gearing up for its biggest minimum wage increase in over a decade.

Effective Sept. 30, Florida’s minimum wage will rise from its current $8.65 per hour to $10 an hour, or $6.98 plus tips for tipped employees. ... According to the nonpartisan Florida Policy Institute, an estimated 646,000 working Floridians will see their wages rise starting Thursday. By 2026, that number is expected to reach 2.5 million, or 25% of Florida’s workforce ...

‘It’s good business’ to raise wages for workers

Business Insider: This cafe chain owner who pays $15 an hour says his commitment to treating staff fairly helped him avoid the labor shortage

By Zahra Tayeb
Business Insider, Sep 18, 2021

A dire labor shortage has left many business owners across the US struggling to find workers. But not the CEO of Bluestone Lane, a cafe chain with branches across the country, who has made hundreds of hires in the last eight months. 

Nick Stone told Insider that he hasn't experienced many issues bringing back team members and hiring new ones for the chain's 51 locations. He said he recruited 400 new employees since February 2021. ...

Stone pays his employees $15 an hour nationally and $22 an hour to those living in New York. 

Hometown News: Florida minimum wage rising Sept. 30

By Mike Winikoff
Hometown News, Sep 16, 2021

STATEWIDE - Florida’s hourly minimum wage for non-tipped employees will increase from $8.65 to $10 on Sept. 30. In 2020, Florida voters passed Amendment 2 with 61% of the vote. Amendment 2 gradually increases the state minimum wage to $15 in 2026. ...

Chairman Emeritus Roger Smith of the American Income Life Insurance Company... is a Treasure Coast businessperson who fully supports the increase, and not only for the workers themselves. Mr. Smith thinks raising the minimum wage will benefit businesses and the economy.

Hometown News was referred to Mr. Smith by a coalition called Business for a Fair Minimum Wage.

WLVR/NPR: Push for minimum wage increase comes to Bethlehem

By Hayden Mitman
WLVR/NPR, Aug 27, 2021

... Gov. Tom Wolf has called for an increase as all six states that border the commonwealth offer higher minimum wages. ...

John Schall, owner of the authentic Mexican restaurant in Bethlehem [El Jefe’s Taqueria], credited much of his success to the fact that he pays his employees a living wage. 

“It’s just part of being a decent human being. It’s also a crucial part of a successful business model,” he said. “There are restaurants now that aren’t open because they say they can’t find staff. I haven’t closed for an hour because I can’t find staff. It’s absolutely the case that paying a living wage is a crucial part of the success of El Jefe’s.”

Schall offers a starting hourly wage of $12 an hour plus tips. 

Lehigh Valley Live: South Bethlehem restaurateur calls for Pa. minimum wage hike, pays staff near double

By Pamela Sroka-Holzmann
Lehigh Valley Live, Aug 26, 2021

El Jefe’s Taqueria owner John Schall doesn’t have a significant staff shortage at his South Bethlehem eatery and has grown his chain of Mexican restaurants amid the coronavirus pandemic.

He says the “low wage, high turnover” model is what likely has led to other area businesses being forced to reduce hours or close shop all together. ...

Associated Press (AP): $15 wage becoming a norm as employers struggle to fill jobs

By Christopher Rugaber
Associated Press (AP), July 27, 2021

... It is hardly the official federal minimum wage — at $7.25, that level hasn’t been raised since 2009 — but for many lower-skilled workers, $15 an hour has increasingly become a reality. ...

The beneficiaries are people like Maggie Himmel, who started working at the Flowers for Dreams flower shop in Milwaukee last fall for $12.50 an hour. In January, the company raised its minimum wage to $15.

The higher pay allowed Himmel, 22, to move into her own apartment after sharing living space with her sister. She is earning more than she did before the pandemic, when she worked part time at a flower shop in Kalamazoo, Michigan, for about $11 an hour. ...

Delaware Newsline: Governor Carney signs $15 minimum wage legislation

“This is a great day for Delaware and small businesses across the state who advocated raising the minimum wage to boost the economy,” said Alissa Barron-Menza, vice president of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage.

Delaware Newsline, July 20, 2021

Delaware Governor John Carney signed legislation that would gradually increase the Delaware’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025. ...

Al Dia: Delaware to have $15 minimum wage by 2025

By Brittany Valentine
Al Dia, July 20, 2021

On Monday, July 19, Delaware Governor John Carney signed into law a long overdue bill that will gradually increase the state’s minimum wage to $15 by the year 2025. ...

Groups like Business for Fair Minimum Wage, a network of business organizations, owners and executives, also commended Delaware’s decision. 

Alissa Barron-Menza, vice president of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, told CNBC that when the cost of living increases, people struggle to afford even the most basic necessities. 

“Businesses need customers who can afford their products and services,” she said. ...

Wisconsin Examiner: Still fighting for $15 Twelve years after the last minimum-wage increase, some workers and business owners say it’s time for a change

By Erik Gunn
Wisconsin Examiner, July 19, 2021. Also in Urban Milwaukee.

Years ago when he was working for the discount retailer Kmart, Gary Lemke saw the cost of low wages: high employee turnover. Lemke estimates as many as half the workers would leave in a year. 

That meant more than just having to hire and train new people. He is convinced it harmed the bottom line.

“You don’t just lose workers — you lose customers as well,” says Lemke. “If you’re losing 50% of your employees every year, you’re losing a lot of potential business.”

That’s why Lemke’s landscaping business in the Calumet County village of Potter pays its staff well above the official minimum wage. “People work harder and stick with you when they’re making a living wage,” he says.

WDEL: Carney signs into law Delaware's $15 minimum wage hike

By DJ McAneny
WDEL, July 19, 2021

... The bill's primary sponsor, Sen. Jack Walsh, said ... the talking point that the increase will cost jobs is "simply not true..." "The reason is simple: putting more money in people's pockets means more bills getting paid, and more money going into cash registers, which results in a better economy for all of us,"  ...

The bill did have the support of small businesses across Delaware, some of whom were on hand Monday for the signing.