Senator Declan O’Scanlon and Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso (both R-Monmouth) today called for a delay in the looming minimum wage increase as small businesses struggle to stay afloat during the pandemic.
As small businesses fight to survive during the pandemic, an increase in the minimum wage is likely to contribute to bankruptcies, Sen. Declan O’Scanlon and Asw. Serena DiMaso said. (Pixabay)
“Here we are, nine months into the pandemic, millions having been unemployed, segments of our economy on life support, and the minimum wage is set to increase yet again in the next few days,” said O’Scanlon. “We are left with no option for a discussion about delaying that increase. It is statutorily an impossibility. It would make perfect sense to have an emergency session to pass legislation suspending the increase for at least six months, but that would be good government, and this is Trenton.
“We all want everyone to have the opportunity to prosper and to make as much money as possible,” O’Scanlon continued. “Some increase to the minimum was justifiable back in 2019 when we enacted it. But rigid, substantial ongoing increases – with no flexibility or safety valve in the face of economic downturn – were ill advised when enacted and totally counter-productive now. To increase economic stress on businesses desperately struggling to survive, desperately struggling to avoid laying people off, is insanity.”
“Just yesterday there was an article highlighting nearly 70 popular restaurants that have had to close permanently since COVID began, yet we are going to force businesses barely hanging on to absorb a wage increase that many were already going to struggle with,” DiMaso said. “There has been bipartisan legislation out there to delay the minimum wage increase. Now more than ever it seems critical that we call an emergency legislative session to delay this increase. Our small businesses are suffering, livelihoods that took a lifetime to build in pursuit of the American dream have been crippled, and if this minimum wage increase proceeds, it certainly won’t be COVID that is to blame.”