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How Local Businesses Feel About the Proposed Minimum Wage Increase

Minimum-Wage-101The Richmond Chamber asked for opinions from businesses in Richmond regarding the proposed minimum wage increase. This proposed minimum wage increase will come before the Richmond City Council at their next meeting this Tuesday, May 6th, at 6:30pm. Local businesses in the community are encouraged to attend the  meeting to comment. The deadline to sign up to speak is before the item is called.

Please read the comments that were shared from local businesses:

  • Although the West Contra Costa Unified School District would not be subject to a Richmond minimum wage ordinance, I do have concerns about the Richmond proposal.  Having a minimum wage requirement in Richmond that is different from the minimum wage in El Cerrito, San Pablo, Pinole, Hercules or the unincorporated areas would, I believe, place our Richmond students at a disadvantage in finding the jobs that many need to contribute to their families and others need to complete the work-based learning component of their career academies.
  • The minimum wage is a federal or state matter, not for cities. We are getting a significant increase at the state level – we cannot afford one at the city level.
  • We cannot be disadvantaged locally. We already have had increases in Workers Compensation and tax increases (Proposition 30) that makes it more difficult to compete against non-California businesses.
  • Lower demand for labor which will increase unemployment. Though minimum wage laws may benefit those receiving the increased wage yet the real minimum wage is always zero because that will be the wage received by those who will lose their jobs. In other words demand for labor will decline thus creating an increase in unemployment.
  • Do not scare companies from coming to Richmond but encourage businesses to stay and prosper in Richmond.
  • Consider that in addition to the wage increase, workers’ comp insurance premiums and payroll taxes will increase. This adds 15% to 40% to the wages depending upon a company’s workers’ comp insurance rates.
  • My company is in the midst of a small expansion which may grow into a large one requiring significantly more employees. If I am forced to pay a higher minimum wage than my local competitors in other cities, I would need to contract my work out to a company outside of Richmond, rather than hiring Richmond residents to fill my labor needs.
  • Philosophically, I like the fact that the City is looking at this issue. My advice to the City Council was and is that they should not go too far or too fast. And that they should understand the impact on local businesses and job creation, which is and will be very real and very tangible.
  • We happen to have competitors based all over the country, as we service national customers, and it is already significantly more expensive for us to be based in California than almost every other state in the country. If there is too great a disparity between the minimum wage here vs. the minimum wage in other areas, then we will be at a competitive disadvantage, and our business will not grow. It could shrink.   Hence, we would not add jobs. We could decrease headcount.
  • We do not support raising minimum wage to $12.30/hour, as there will be a large discrepancy between Richmond and other locations. We would certainly increase investment in automation and reduce headcount wherever possible.
  • The current reimbursement rate for many companies that serve people with disabilities cannot support the proposed wage increases. There are hundreds of people with disabilities receiving services which would be at risk of termination under the Richmond Minimum Wage Ordinance.

If you would like to share your own comment or opinion regarding this issue, please feel free to email the Chamber at staff@rcoc.com.

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