Minimum wage rises to $ 15 in Westchester as businesses continue to face staff shortages
A record number of states are raising their minimum wages, including New York.
Starting Friday, Westchester will increase the minimum wage to $ 15 an hour.
The minimum wage is also increasing for the rest of the state, but at a much lower rate of $ 13.20 an hour. New York City has already raised the minimum wage to $ 15.
Some business owners say the hike is the least of their worries – it’s finding workers.
At Buff City Soap in Rye Brook, owner Spencer Hart is confident his new business of delivering handmade, plant-based soaps will be successful despite the pandemic.
But the success of his business also depends on the employees he hires, which is why the starting salary is $ 15 an hour. On Friday, it will become the official minimum wage for all of Westchester County and Long Island.
“I think $ 15 is fair. I know it’s gone up a lot in recent years, but the prices have also gone up,” he says.
The wage hike was supposed to take effect last year with New York City, but was delayed to give businesses more time to adjust.
Many business owners say raising the minimum wage to $ 15 an hour isn’t a problem, it’s about hiring staff.
Help-seeking signs say the worker shortage caused by the pandemic is not over.
John Ravitz of the Business Council of Westchester says many companies are already offering more than $ 15 an hour in hopes of attracting workers, “says Ravitz. 1 priority.”
Spencer says he’s got a head start when it comes to hiring.
“It’s a nice place to work,” he says.
He hopes this is a perk that will help him retain his employees and grow his business.