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Business Leaders Say New Year Minimum Wage Hikes Will Boost Consumer Spending, Strengthen Economy

Contact: Blake Case, 601-832-6079

Dec. 14, 2023—Twenty-two states will raise their minimum wage to ring in the new year. Another three states and the District of Columbia have increases scheduled later in 2024. Business owners across the country are welcoming the increases, saying they will boost consumer spending and improve employee hiring, retention, productivity and customer service.

Earlier this year, New York lawmakers approved gradually raising the minimum wage in New York City, Westchester County and Long Island to $17, and to $16 for the rest of the state, by 2026. On Jan. 1, 2024, New York City, Westchester County and Long Island will increase to $16, and upstate New York will increase to $15.

In Maryland, Governor Wes Moore signed a bill accelerating the state minimum wage increase to $15, which will take effect on New Year’s Day. 

The highest state minimum wages in effect as of Jan. 1, 2024 will be Washington State at $16.28 and California at $16. (See list of increases below.) The District of Columbia (D.C.) minimum wage, which increases annually on July 1, is currently at $17.

“Minimum wage increases are a great way to start the new year,” said Holly Sklar, CEO of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage. “They help workers put food on the table and keep a roof overhead and they boost the consumer spending that businesses depend on. Fairer wages help businesses hire and retain employees and deliver the reliable customer service that leads to repeat customers instead of lost customers. While the federal minimum wage falls further and further behind the cost of living at just $7.25 an hour, state increases are vital for workers, businesses and communities.”

Michael Lastoria, founder of &pizza, with restaurants in New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and D.C., said, “At &pizza, investing in our workers is vital for our growth and success in a very competitive industry. When workers are valued, turnover is lower, productivity is higher and customer service is better. We are longtime advocates of raising the minimum wage and welcome the New Year increases coming in most of the states where we operate. They will boost consumer spending and strengthen local economies.”

Phil Andrews, president of the Long Island African American Chamber of Commerce, said, “It’s a good thing the minimum wage is going up in New York. It would be even better if it were going higher than $16 on January 1 to better reflect Long Island’s cost of living. Minimum wage increases turn into spending on food, car repairs, school supplies and more. Small businesses thrive when the people who are our customers have more money to spend. And there are strong connections between employee pay, employee retention, productivity and customer service. At the Long Island African American Chamber of Commerce, we are committed to strengthening businesses, the workforce and our economy. That’s why we support a strong minimum wage.”

Pete Turner, owner of Illegal Pete’s Restaurants in Colorado and Arizona, said, “I welcome the minimum wage increases this year in Colorado and Arizona. At our restaurants, we have seen that better compensation helps with employee hiring and retention, keeps turnover costs low, and keeps customers coming back. That is a huge benefit to our bottom line. We’re raising our starting wage to $18.30 before tips, starting January 1. We plan to open three new restaurants in the next six months. Our employees are, and always have been, a huge part of our success.”

Mike Draper, owner of Raygun, a clothing, home goods and design company headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa, with locations in Kansas City, Missouri; Omaha, Nebraska; and Chicago, Illinois, said, “Raygun would not be a growing company with nine locations across the Midwest without our longstanding commitment to paying a living wage. Our employees deliver the quality, creativity and customer service that keeps us profitable and growing. When workers have more money in their pockets from minimum wage increases, they spend it at local businesses. Minimum wage raises in Missouri, Nebraska, Illinois and other states will be good for business. It’s past time for Iowa to join the list.”

Mikaela Krueger, owner of Optika Curated Eyewear in Hastings, Nebraska, said, “Raising the minimum wage is a great way for workers and businesses to start the new year. Nebraska’s increase to $12 in 2024 is the next step towards the $15 minimum wage passed by voters in 2022. Minimum wage increases recirculate in our local economies through increased consumer spending. And I know from experience that when you pay employees a fair wage, they do a better job and stay with you longer. Paying a living wage is an investment in the long-term success of my business.” 

Aaron Seyedian, owner of Well-Paid Maids in Maryland, New York, Virginia and D.C., said, “We’re happy to ring in the New Year with minimum wage increases in Maryland and New York, and on July 1 in DC. Our current starting wage ranges from $24 to $27 per hour. We receive a large volume of applications for every job posting. We’ve raised starting wages twice this year and we’ll end 2023 with record revenue and profitability. Our low turnover saves us a lot of money and time on hiring and training, and customers appreciate the great service we provide. We look forward to further minimum wage increases so workers everywhere can earn a living wage.”

Kristen Deptula, owner of the Canalside Inn, in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, said, “As a hospitality business, I know that happier employees make for happier customers. Fair pay drives our success. Employees can do a better job when they aren’t continually worried about how they are going to get by on wages that don’t even cover the basics. Delaware’s minimum wage increase will make for a happier New Year for workers and for businesses that will see a welcome boost in consumer spending.”

David Bronner, CEO of Dr. Bronner’s, the top-selling natural soap brand in North America, based in Vista, California, said, “As a family-owned business with more than 300 team members, we’ve always believed that employees are our most valued asset. Investing in our employees has greatly benefited our company – from high morale and low turnover to excellent product quality, superior customer service, and continuing innovation. All workers should earn a living wage whether they work for us or anyone else. And when businesses invest in their employees, communities and local economies can thrive.”

Steven Dyme, CEO of Flowers for Dreams, with locations in Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin, said, “Raising the minimum wage isn’t just pro-worker; it’s pro-family, pro-business, and it’s even pro-flowers in our case. Workers who can comfortably make ends meet will do right by your product, focus on quality, and provide the same care to your customers that you provide to them.” 

Phil White, co-founder of GroundedWorld in Westport, Connecticut, said, “Connecticut’s minimum wage increase will help workers make ends meet and bolster the consumer spending that businesses depend on. It’s important that Connecticut now has annual adjustments that will keep the minimum wage from deteriorating in the future. Fairly paid employees help businesses succeed and a decent minimum wage is vital for a healthy economy.”

Scheduled increases for Jan. 1, 2024 include:

  • Delaware increases to $13.25 on Jan. 1, 2024 and $15 in 2025.
  • Hawaii increases to $14 on Jan. 1, 2024, and then to $16 in 2026 and $18 in 2028.
  • Illinois increases to $14 on Jan. 1, 2024 and $15 in 2025.
  • Maryland increases to $15 on Jan. 1, 2024 for businesses of all sizes.
  • Michigan is scheduled to increase to $10.33 on Jan. 1, 2024. Pending litigation could affect minimum wage increases (see MI Dept. of Labor and Economic Opportunity).
  • Nebraska increases to $12 in 2024, $13.50 in 2025, and $15 in 2026, and then is indexed to keep pace with the cost of living. 
  • New Jersey increases to $15.13 on Jan. 1, 2024, and then is indexed. For seasonal businesses and those with fewer than six employees, the minimum wage increases to $13.73 on Jan. 1, 2024 and rises to at least $15 by 2026.
  • New York increases on Jan. 1, 2024 to $16 in New York City, Westchester County and Long Island and $15 in the rest of the state, followed by $0.50 increases in 2025 and 2026. Indexing begins in 2027.
  • Rhode Island increases to $14 on Jan. 1, 2024 and $15 in 2025.

States with indexing where annual increases (based on the Consumer Price Index unless indicated otherwise) take effect Jan. 1, 2024, include:

  • Alaska increases to $11.73
  • Arizona increases to $14.35
  • California increases to $16
  • Colorado increases to $14.42
  • Connecticut increases to $15.69 (CT is indexed to the Employment Cost Index)
  • Maine increases to $14.15
  • Minnesota increases to $10.85 for employers with annual gross revenues of at least $500,000 and $8.85 for employers with revenues of less than $500,000
  • Missouri increases to $12.30
  • Montana increases to $10.30
  • Ohio increases to $10.45 
  • South Dakota increases to $11.20
  • Vermont increases to $13.67
  • Washington state increases to $16.28 

State increases later in 2024:

  • Nevada’s minimum wage is scheduled to increase on July 1, 2024 to $12. 
  • Oregon and the District of Columbia have cost of living increases on July 1, 2024.
  • Florida’s minimum wage will increase to $13 on Sept. 30, 2024, and then to $14 in 2025 and $15 in 2026; in 2027,  Florida will resume annual indexing.

In addition, numerous city and county minimum wages will increase on Jan. 1 or later in 2024. These include cities such as Chicago, Denver, Flagstaff, Minneapolis, Seattle and numerous California cities, for example, that are higher than their state’s minimum wage. The UC Berkeley Labor Center provides a regularly updated Inventory of US City and County Minimum Wage Ordinances.

The federal minimum wage has been stuck for more than 14 years at $7.25 an hour since July 24, 2009—the longest period in history without a raise.

To schedule interviews with business owners and executives supportive of minimum wage increases, contact Blake Case at or (601) 832-6079. 


Business for a Fair Minimum Wage is a national network of business owners and executives and business organizations that believe a fair minimum wage makes good business sense.