BFMW In the News

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. 

Business Insider: Delaware just became the 10th state to enact a $15 minimum wage

By Juliana Kaplan 
Business Insider, July 19, 2021

The number of states set to raise their minimum wage to $15 an hour is now in the double digits, as Delaware joins the club. 

"Delawareans who go to work full time shouldn't be living in poverty," Gov. John Carney said in a statement after signing it into law on Monday. ...

"I think every time a state like Delaware joins the movement, it's going to encourage other states to do so," [Courtney] Sunborn said. "And I hope that what the other states will see is that this will be a successful transition for Delaware, businesses and encourage other states to join the movement."

Delaware News Journal: Delaware's $15 minimum wage signed

By Sarah Gamard
Delaware News Journal, July 19, 2021

If low-wage workers haven't got a pay boost yet, they will starting in January. Gov. John Carney signed a bill on Monday to increase Delaware's minimum wage from $9.25 to $15 an hour by 2025. ...

Some small-business owners who support a $15 minimum wage praised the new law on Monday.

In a statement with other pro-increase business owners and the organization Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, Sarah Titus, owner of the Comic Book Shop in Wilmington, said she looks forward to minimum wage increases putting "more money in people’s pockets so they can spend more at local businesses."

Nation's Restaurant News: Delaware becomes the 10th state (plus Washington, D.C.) to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour

Delaware’s minimum wage will increase from $9.25 an hour to $15 an hour by 2025

By Joanna Fantozzi
Nation's Restaurant News, July 19, 2021. Also in Restaurant Hospitality

... “This is a great day for Delaware and small businesses across the state who advocated raising the minimum wage to boost the economy,” Alissa Barron-Menza, vice president of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage said in a statement. “Workers will be able to spend more at local businesses and fairer pay will bring lower employee turnover and increased productivity. Raising Delaware’s minimum wage will help businesses and communities thrive.” ...

CNBC: It’s been 12 years since the last federal minimum wage increase

By Lorie Konish
CNBC, July 16, 2021

The coronavirus crisis has cast new attention on wages and income.

It’s been 12 years since the last federal minimum wage increase, and whether a hike in minimum pay will get passed by Congress or not is still a question.

The federal minimum wage is currently $7.25 per hour. That pay raise was approved by Congress in 2007, which gradually kicked it up to the present number in 2009. ...

Meanwhile, states are stepping in to raise their minimum pay rates. However, none of them currently have a $15 per hour wage in place, though states like Florida are working to gradually move toward that by 2026.

Delaware State News: Business owners, leaders expect payoff with wage increase

By Olivia Montes
Delaware State News, July 12, 2021

Upon hearing that state lawmakers had passed an increase to the minimum wage June 17, Ryan Peters, co-owner of RISE Fitness+Adventure in Rehoboth Beach, was delighted.

At the same time, local business leaders are thrilled that more money is moving into the wallets of employees and hoping they spend big at area companies, bolstering bonds between shops and consumers.

Mr. Peters — whose gym has been paying its staff above minimum wage... [said]