It’s only been four days since the minimum wage jumped to $14 but already local small businesses are making changes to how they operate.
Graham Cubitt is the President of The Mustard Seed Co-op on York Boulevard, all of the 16 employees were already making at least $15 dollars. “It’s more challenging than paying minimum wage that’s for sure, the last few years it’s been a 3-4 dollar difference between the minimum wage and living wage.”
Last year The Mustard Seed Co-op paid it’s staff 50,000 more a year than they would have if their employees were making minimum wage.
Walter Durajlija owns Big B Comics on Upper James, he’s down a part timer right now, but is holding off on hiring. He says it might have something to do with minimum wage hike. “Perhaps in the old dynamic of wages maybe we’d use this time to get them trained…i’ve put it off for some reason, maybe because we’re entering the slow time…but subliminally factoring in the minimum wage, i’m sure i am.”
Ontario isn’t leading the charge on this. Alberta, California, Seattle, and New York City already have a $15 minimum wage.
“In those cities what we’ve seen is it’s actually a small benefit, we reduce poverty a small amount and the money goes back into the economy and that helps out small business people.” says, Marvin Ryder from the Degroote School of Business. Ryder continues to say that price increases are inevitable because most small businesses are already operating on small profit margins. He says there’s no way they can absorb the wage increase.