District 10 Lawmakers Note that State-mandated Minimum Wage Hike Will Hurt Seasonal & Small Businesses the Most
Senator Jim Holzapfel and Assemblymen Dave Wolfe and Greg McGuckin (all R-10) sounded off on Thursday’s passage of S-15/A-15 which would increase the minimum wage over time to $15 an hour. The Jersey Shore legislators are vehemently opposed to the increase, stating it will hurt seasonal and small businesses the most.
District 10 lawmakers sound off on the proposed minimum wage hike to $15 an hour. The Jersey Shore legislators stated it will hurt seasonal and small businesses the most. (Wikimedia)
“This bill is yet another attempt by Governor Murphy to force residents and business owners out of state,” said Senator Holzapfel. “Small businesses are the backbone of the Jersey Shore and this wage increase will send ripple effects throughout our Shore economy. Everyone, from the business owner on the boardwalk, to the tourist at the beach, will pay for this wage hike. The only option left for our hardworking business owners is either to raise prices, cut workers or close up shop entirely.”
The legislation defines seasonal businesses as those that make the most of their revenue during certain months of the year, such as the summer, placing these businesses on a different wage increase schedule. If the legislation is signed into law next week as expected, beginning January 1, 2020, seasonal businesses need to pay their employees at least $10.30 an hour, and then increase that wage each year until it reaches $15 an hour in 2026.
“Restaurants, bars, boardwalks and amusement parks on the Jersey Shore will be the hardest hit,” added Assemblyman Wolfe. “Even with the delayed increase, the mom and pop shops on the boardwalk will have to pay a competitive wage to attract young workers, who will undoubtedly choose to find higher-paying jobs at a supermarket or coffee shop chain instead. This is devastating to small businesses no matter how you slice it.”
The District 10 lawmakers also noted that the legislation sets artificially low-limits of those who qualify as a “small business,” and fails to acknowledge in full the many seasonal industries across the state that will be hurt by new wage mandates they cannot afford.
The tourism industry supports hundreds of thousands of jobs in New Jersey and generates billions of dollars in state and local tax revenue. It is a vital source of income for the state and its residents.
“Last year, Governor Murphy took the egregious step of forcing short-term beach rentals to cope with a “shore tax.” Now he’s taking a direct shot at small business owners, who will not be able to afford to their pay employees unless they increase their prices. Vacationing with your family to the Jersey Shore use to be an affordable getaway, until now,” said Assemblyman McGuckin. “This is not the way to keep or attract business owners, tourists, or new residents to our state. It’s a death sentence for our economy and our business climate as a whole. Regardless, on behalf of the taxpayers we serve, we will continue to fight to get the Jersey Shore and the rest of the Garden State back on track.”
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