Skip to main content

Contact: Cat Ulrich, (202) 630-7839

June 29, 2022Business owners in Washington, D.C., Connecticut, Nevada and Oregon say the minimum wage increases taking effect July 1 will boost consumer buying power and strengthen local economies.

“With the federal minimum wage stuck at an abysmal $7.25 an hour, state increases are essential for workers, businesses and the economy,” said Holly Sklar, CEO of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage. “Minimum wage increases make it more possible for workers to afford the basics and strengthen the consumer spending that businesses depend on.”

Gina Schaefer, owner of A Few Cool Hardware Stores, with 13 Ace Hardware stores in D.C., Maryland and Virginia: “D.C.’s minimum wage increase will help workers keep up with the rising cost of living and it will recirculate as spending at local businesses like ours. We know from experience that raising pay at the bottom is good for the bottom line. Fair pay has always been key to our low employee turnover and the great service that keeps our customers coming back.”

Paul Saginaw, co-owner of Saginaw’s Delicatessen in Las Vegas, Nevada: “Fair wages are good business. All our employees earn at least $14 an hour before tips, plus benefits like health insurance and paid time off. We have not had trouble hiring and have strong employee retention, which shows in the quality of our food and our customer service. Great food and great service keep customers coming back. Nevada’s minimum wage increase will support workers and businesses. We would like to see Nevada go higher than the scheduled $12 by 2024 minimum wage.”

Constance Palaia, owner of Motel Del Rogue, a Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year, in Grants Pass, Oregon: “We have a $15 minimum wage because we want our staff and their families to live secure, healthy lives. Our employees are great and stay with us, which is unusual in the high-turnover hospitality industry and has positioned us well for the 2022 travel boom. Raising the minimum wage will help Oregon build a stronger economy and more resilient businesses.”

Phil White, co-founder of GroundedWorld in Westport, Connecticut: “A decent minimum wage is fundamental to a strong economy and to a fair economy. Too many working people can’t meet their basic needs, with the rising cost of living further eroding purchasing power. Raising Connecticut’s minimum wage will inject more spending into our economy and help businesses take care of their people. And fairly paid employees help businesses succeed.”

Bryan Steelman, owner of ¿Por Qué No? Taquería in Portland, Oregon: “Years ago, we created our own path to a $15 starting wage and now pay more than $15. With good planning, we’ve found it’s very doable to have a higher starting wage that keeps up with cost of living. Because we have always paid a fair wage, we have been able to secure a trusting relationship with employees who see opportunity and choices that enable them to stay with us for the long term. In the end, it’s a math equation about what’s best for business, and Oregon’s upcoming minimum wage increases will create a better equation for the entire economy.”

Jared Meyers, owner of Legacy Vacation Resorts in Reno, Nevada (as well as New Jersey, Colorado and Florida): “In the hospitality industry, the way we treat people is at the heart of our success, which includes not only our guests but also our employees. When employees are paid a fair wage and do not have to be distracted by a second job or continual financial worry, businesses and communities are better off. Nevada’s July 1 increase is great news for the state’s workers and businesses.”

July 1, 2022 increases include:

Connecticut increases its minimum wage from $13 to $14, followed by an increase to $15 on June 1, 2023, and then annual adjustments based on the Employment Cost Index starting January 1, 2024.

Nevada increases its minimum wage from $9.75 to $10.50 per hour for employees without health benefits and $8.75 to $9.50 for employees with health benefits. Increases continue in 75-cent increments until reaching $12 and $11, respectively, in 2024.

Oregon increases the standard minimum wage rate from $12.75 to $13.50, the Portland metro rate from $14 to $14.75, and the rate for non-urban counties from $12 to $12.50 per hour. In 2023, the standard rate will be adjusted annually based on the Consumer Price Index, with the Portland metro rate at $1.25 above the standard rate, and the non-urban counties rate $1 below the standard rate.

Washington, D.C. increases its minimum wage from $15.20 to $16.10 per hour. D.C.’s minimum wage is indexed annually to the cost of living.

To schedule interviews with business owners and executives supportive of minimum wage increases, contact Cat Ulrich at or (202) 630-7839.


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.