The bill has passed and Gov. Phil Murphy has said he will sign it on Feb. 4, but that hasn’t stopped businesses from continuing to speak out against the $15 minimum wage proposal. Today, a number of shore businesses weighed in.
Michael Diamond, the veteran business writer for the Asbury Park Press, recently talked to some of them at the shore about the provisions supposedly helping seasonal businesses.
While most businesses in the state will have to raise their minimum wage in five months, businesses that make their money over the summer won’t have to pay more until the first of the year, when their minimum wage will jump to $10.30 an hour. (Most other businesses will have to pay $11 by then.)
“But the Shore’s tourism business owners said the looming minimum wage hike would put added pressure on their expenses, not only for the entry-level workers, but also for more experienced workers who also would need a raise, just for the sake of fairness,” Diamond writes in an article in this morning’s edition.
He quotes Anthony Catanoso, president of Steel Pier, an amusement park in Atlantic City:
“Its not a question of operators making more money.In some cases it’s operators surviving. There’s just not enough of a margin. We struggle every year. This is just going to make it harder.”
Alli O’Neill, the owner of Colonial Bakery, who testified before the Assembly Labor Committee in January, “crunched some numbers recently on the impact of a $15-an-hour minimum wage and came to a grim conclusion. She will need to raise the price of a dozen doughnuts from $11 to $21 to maintain her current profit margin,” Diamond writes.
Through the course of the two-week debate on the bill, more than 4,000 businesses shared their stories about how minimum wage will impact their ability to operate in New Jersey. Unfortunately, their concerns were not heard by a majority of legislators.