Contact: Blake Case
email@example.com, (601) 832-6079
June 22, 2023 — Business owners say that minimum wage increases taking effect July 1 in Nevada, Oregon, Washington, D.C., and elsewhere will boost consumer spending and benefit their businesses and local economies.
July 1 increases include:
Nevada raises the minimum wage from $10.50 to $11.25 per hour for employees without qualifying health benefits and from $9.50 to $10.25 for employees with health benefits. Under Question 2, passed by voters in 2022, the two-tier system will be eliminated as of July 2024 and the minimum wage will rise to $12.
Oregon increases its standard minimum wage rate from $13.50 to $14.20 per hour, the Portland metro rate from $14.75 to $15.45, and the rate for non-urban counties from $12.50 to $13.20. Beginning in 2024, 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. raises its minimum wage from $16.10 to $17 per hour. D.C.’s minimum wage is indexed annually to the cost of living. In addition, under Initiative 82, which passed in 2022, the base minimum wage for tipped employees will increase from $6 to $8 per hour on July 1. (Employers are required to make up the difference if the tip wage plus tips does not reach the minimum wage for non-tipped employees.) The base tip wage will continue to rise until matching the regular minimum wage in 2027.
In addition, multiple cities and counties increase their minimum wage on July 1, including, for example:
Chicago’s minimum wage will increase to $15.80 for employers with 21 or more employees (including all domestic workers, regardless of number employed) and $15 for smaller employers
Montgomery County, Maryland’s minimum wage will increase to $16.70 for large employers with 51 or more employees, $15 for those with 11 to 50 employees, and $14.50 for smaller employers
For additional localities raising their minimum wage on July 1, see UC Berkeley Labor Center Inventory of US City and County Minimum Wage Ordinances
Paul Saginaw, owner of Saginaw’s Delicatessen in Las Vegas, Nevada, said, “It’s great for business when the minimum wage goes up. It puts money in the pockets of customers and it strengthens the workforce. We pay our staff living wages with benefits like health insurance and paid time off, and we have much lower turnover than typical restaurants. I know I can count on our employees to deliver the great food and service that keeps customers coming in.”
Constance Palaia, owner of Motel Del Rogue, a Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year, in Grants Pass, Oregon, said, “Raising the minimum wage is good for business and good for Oregon. If people make so little they are constantly worried about making ends meet, they can’t focus as well on the job. When people make a living wage, they’re happier and healthier and able to perform better at work. Businesses are stronger and our communities are stronger.”
Aaron Seyedian, owner of Well-Paid Maids in Washington, D.C. and Maryland (as well as New York City), said, “We haven’t had a labor shortage at Well-Paid Maids. We’ve doubled in size over the last year. Customers appreciate the quality and reliability that comes from fairly compensated employees. People want to work for us and our low turnover saves us a lot of money and time. Raising the minimum wage helps people make ends meet and boosts consumer spending, which boosts local economies.”
Mike Draper, owner of Raygun clothing and design, with locations in Chicago, Iowa, Missouri and Nebraska, said, “Raising the minimum wage is a win-win for workers and businesses. When people have more money they spend it at stores like Raygun. The economy is stronger when the wage base is stronger and money is circulating widely. And we know from our own experience paying better wages that happier workers are more committed and make for happier customers.”
Jared Meyers, owner of Legacy Vacation Resorts in Reno, Nevada (as well as Florida, New Jersey and Colorado), said, “Nevada’s July 1 increase is welcome news for workers and businesses. The way we treat our employees and our guests is central to our success in the hospitality industry. Paying fair wages helps with hiring and retention. And when employees are paid fairly and aren’t distracted by a second job or continual financial stress, their lives are better, our guest experience is better, and our business does better.”
Gina Schaefer, founder and co-owner of A Few Cool Hardware Stores, with 13 Ace Hardware stores in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia, said, “We welcome the increased buying power that our customers will have from minimum wage raises in D.C., Montgomery County and elsewhere. Fair pay is key to the great service at our stores that keeps customers happy and coming back. With 20 years in business, we know that investing in employees is the best investment a business can make.”
Steven Dyme, CEO of Flowers for Dreams, with locations in Chicago, Detroit, Milwaukee and Minneapolis, said, “Minimum wage increases have an essential circular benefit - they create new consumer spending dollars that in turn fuel our local businesses. Our employees are among our customers, thriving together to create the financial stability needed to reduce turnover and grow our business.”
To schedule interviews with business owners supportive of upcoming minimum wage increases, contact Blake Case at firstname.lastname@example.org 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. www.businessforafairminimumwage.org.