Businesspeople react to minimum wage increase that took effect on New Year's Day
PHOENIX (KSAZ) - A new year means some new laws have gone into effect across the country. In Arizona, that means the minimum wage is going up once again.
In 2016, voters approved a series of annual minimum wage increases from 2016 to 2020. In the wake of Proposition 206, concerns were raised about a contracting job market.
That, however, hasn't been the case in the restaurant business in Phoenix.
"We've actually seen more applications come through, people looking for more jobs," said Rob Bellemare, General Manager of Fat Tuesday's. "With business and the economy growing, we're actually able to hire a couple of staff members now."
Bellemare has been running bars and restaurants for more than a decade, and said Monday's 50-cent bump in the minimum wage to $10.50 an hour is over the threshold that he likes.
However, Bellemare said business has been good, and just about everyone on Mill Avenue in Tempe should be able to absorb the cost.
"I really don't see it affecting us at all," said Bellemare. "Liquor is always going to sell. Food is always going to sell, no matter how bad the economy is."
"Business has been great, we've had an increase in our numbers," said Jocelyn Brody with Nami Barista. "We have been serving a wide variety of people, and not just vegans."
Brody said as long as companies have a healthy bottom line, they should be responsible with wages for workers.
"I believe that as long as the business is able to still come out clean and still covers its employees as necessary, it's fine," said Brody.