What Will $15 Minimum Wage Do to Businesses? See What’s Happening in San Francisco
We've already seen the first fallout from Seattle's new $15 minimum wage, the major relocation by a well-known Northwest outdoor manufacturer. WA officials should heed the warnings from California.
San Francisco was the first city to implement a $15 minimum wage, just prior to Seattle approving it.
The City By the Bay has already seen several dozen small and medium businesses close their doors, or announce they will be doing so, because they won't be able to afford the new minimum wage.
According to ShiftWA, the popular Borderlands Books announced they will close March 31st. After 18 years in business, the owner says the $15 minimum wage is the "straw that will break his back." Two restaurants that are highly rated by San Francisco's dining publication The San Francisco Eater are also closing. The Eater follows and reviews the restaurant scene in the city, considered to be one of the best in America.
Abbot's Cellar and Luna Park, two of the cities' most popular places to eat, have already decided to close their doors. According to the Eater:
"...the impact of the $15 minimum wage is “likely to be repeated by many restaurants that shutter or reformat this year.”
Most of the impact is being felt by small or medium establishments that employ fewer than 50 workers. Other San Francisco businesses are planning to gradually phase out workers, and eventually close by the end of the year. These owners say they could probably hang on for a few years, but it's far cheaper for them to close now. That way they won't be near financial collapse or deeply in debt before finally having to shut down.
And to think the legislators, labor unions and others who have pushed the $15 minimum wage actually think it will help our economy by providing workers with more disposable income.
Perhaps what's even more disturbing is that we have actually seen a $15 minimum wage protest or two right here in the Mid-Columbia in the last year or so.