California Minimum Wage Increases 50 Cents

Tiani Jadulang

A handful of new laws are now in effect, including a raise in California’s hourly minimum wage from 15 dollars to $15.50 to fight inflation.

“I think what it does for us is it ensures that we hire people who want to be here… and when you hire people who want to be where you are, they’re more productive, and they give great customer service. So it’s a win for us.” says Dane Koch, the Director of Retail at DAP Health and all Revival’s locations in the Coachella Valley.

Koch says the increase in the minimum wage gives employees a little breathing room, but the cost of living has gone up faster than their income.

“So our minimum wage was $16 an hour prior to January 1. January 1, we raised our minimum pay rate at revival’s to $20 an hour… and we did that because DAP Health is all about equity, health equity, and also equity for employees.”

The pay increase applies to the entire state,  although some cities and counties already had higher minimum wages in place.

The big question is how does this affect small businesses?

We are seeing prices increase everywhere.

Including supplies, the services for receiving those supplies, as well as rent and utilities for businesses that don’t own their own property.

Making it a challenge for many small business owners to increase minimum wage.

“What people don’t realize is how it affects the pricing of products. It increases the price and the price is, you know, inflation is bad right now, and it’ll just get worse as the minimum wage goes up.” says Curt Miller, a small business owner in Santa Maria.

Small businesses all across the state are feeling the effects from this year’s minimum wage increase.

The business owners find that the increase not only affects one or two of their employees, but all of them.

“My higher wage earners will need to be increased… and overall, it affects business, it affects the economy… and anybody that thinks that a family of four is living on minimum wage, just not true.” says Miller.

With inflation on the rise, minimum wage could continue to increase across the state.

However the federal minimum wage remains at $7.25 per hour.

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