Yreka, CA., — California could soon become be the first state to approve a $15 minimum wage. While it may not make a big impact on some of California’s largest corporations, for small business owners it’s a different story.
Lawmakers, the governor and labor unions struck the deal Monday, but small businesses with fewer than 25 employees will have an extra year to comply.
Nevertheless business owners in Yreka still worry it could put them out of business.
“We’re a start up business we simply can’t get it going in that short of time.” says Craig Mommer, who opened Shasta’s Chocolate Emporium with his family last year.
He currently has one employee, and hopes to add one new person each year as he establishes his business. But despite the slow growth plan, he says a $15 minimum wage would prove devastating.
“It would have a severe impact on our business”, said Mommer.
“It’s not fair”, said Shannon Harding, who runs The Purple Plum restaurant.
She says a $15 minimum wage would force her to hike prices and cost her customers. She just raised prices when the minimum wage went up a dollar in January.
She says, “I have retired folks who like to come eat breakfast every morning and if the prices go up anymore they can’t, they flat out can’t.”
If passed, the minimum wage would go up in small increments until it reaches $15 an hour in 2022.
A committee hearing is set for Wednesday and final action could come as early as Thursday.