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Contact: Cat Ulrich, (202) 630-7839

June 29, 2021 — Business owners in Washington, D.C., Nevada and Oregon say the minimum wage increases taking effect July 1 will boost consumer spending, benefit their businesses, strengthen workforces and help build a stronger economic recovery.

“These July 1 minimum wage increases are especially welcome to start the month since July 24 will mark 12 years with the federal minimum wage stuck at just $7.25 an hour,” said Holly Sklar, CEO of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage. “Raising the minimum wage boosts the spending power of people living paycheck to paycheck. And it encourages better business practices needed for shared economic recovery.”

Business for a Fair Minimum Wage members in Nevada, Oregon, Washington, D.C. and elsewhere are available for interviews about why they support minimum wage increases:

Michael Lastoria, founder and CEO of &pizza, growing fast with locations in D.C., Maryland, Virginia, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York: “Paying our employees fairly has been essential to &pizza’s success. In the past year alone, &pizza has opened 11 new locations and received well over 100 applications for each. We also have some of the highest store-level profit margins in the pizza industry. Raising wages is the clearest way to say to our workforce, ‘We value you.’ Raising the minimum wage leads to greater consumer spending and greater workforce productivity. It’s good business!”

Paul Saginaw, co-owner of Saginaw’s Delicatessen in Las Vegas, Nevada: “We have not had trouble hiring because people like working for us and employees recommend us to friends. Nobody starts below $14 an hour before tips. We have health insurance, paid time off and employees can eat almost anything off the menu for $1. We treat employees with respect, and that shows in our food and our customer service. Nevada’s 75-cents-a-year minimum wage increases benefit workers and businesses. Going higher than the scheduled $12 by 2024 minimum wage would be much better.”

Tom Kelly, CEO of the Neil Kelly Company, a construction firm with locations in Portland, Eugene and Bend, Oregon and Seattle: “We at Neil Kelly are very enthusiastic about the increase in the minimum wage. It will have a positive impact on our economy and help bridge the wealth gap in our community. Everyone deserves a living wage and a chance to own a home. Raising the minimum wage is one of the vital tools that will help us end the homeless crisis.”

Gina Schaefer, owner of A Few Cool Hardware Stores, with 13 Ace Hardware stores in D.C., Maryland and Virginia: “When Washington, D.C. passed a $15 minimum wage, it included a yearly cost of living adjustment — and that’s good for business as well as workers. Minimum wage increases go right back into circulation as spending at local businesses like ours. And by offering fair pay and benefits, we’re able to hire and retain employees who deliver the great service that keeps customers coming in and telling others about us.”

Jared Meyers, owner of Legacy Vacation Resorts in Reno, Nevada (as well as New Jersey, Colorado and Florida): “Nevada’s July 1 increase is a needed step in the right direction. People are at the center of the hospitality business. How we treat people matters every day — from our employees to our community to our guests. Employees are more committed and focused on achieving company goals when they are paid living wages and not distracted by working a second job or continual financial worry. I hope Nevada will join Florida, New Jersey, California and other states on the path to a $15 minimum wage.”

Constance Palaia, owner of Motel Del Rogue, a Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year, in Grants Pass, Oregon: “We want our staff and their families to live secure, healthy lives. We have had a $15 minimum wage for years. Our employees are great and stay with us, which is unusual in the high-turnover hospitality industry. Raising the minimum wage will help Oregon recover from the pandemic.”

July 1, 2021 increases include:

Nevada increases its minimum wage from $9 to $9.75 per hour for employees without health benefits and $8 to $8.75 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 to $12.75, the metro Portland rate from $13.25 to $14, and the rate for non-urban counties from $11.50 to $12. (In 2022, rates increase to $13.50 standard, $14.75 metro Portland, and $12.50 for non-urban counties.) 

Washington, D.C. increases its minimum wage from $15 to $15.20 per hour. (2021 is the first year of annual increases indexed 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.