The past few hearings have featured studies from the United Way, CSU Sacramento and UC Berkeley, all pointing to the net benefits and positive outcomes of raising labor costs on already struggling small businesses. In a spirited but pointed presentation, Dr. Thornberg denoted with facts and historical data the basic economics that a business with an already thin operating margin will suffer through higher costs, or more likely, reduced benefits for entry-level employees.
An accountant for CRA members,other restaurants and retail businesses in the Sacramento community shared profit and loss sheets alongside other financial data of an anonymous local restaurant. These numbers showed there is a revenue/sales formula all restaurants abide by, regardless of size. Based on this formula, she then presented how the scenarios of $9, $11.50, and $13.50 an hour minimum wage would impact a restaurant where the lowest-paid employees (heart of the house cooking staff) would see a very small increase while the highest paid employees (tipped servers and bar staff and managers) would earn the biggest bump.
CRA lobbyist John Kabateck and more than 10 CRA members testified during the public comment period that any minimum wage increase must include provisions for total compensation (accounting for tips, commissions and other income along with basic wage) and a youth/training wage. Thus ensuring any increase is targeted to those who need it most without devastating Sacramento's fragile restaurants, retail, non-profit and small businesses community.
Jay Schenirer, Sacramento City Councilmember and Co-Chair of the Task Force, announced the Task Force would spend the next two weeks in closed-door, private meetings deliberating and discussing the information they have received from these three hearings so far. The next public hearing will be Wednesday, September 2 at 4 p.m. at Sacramento City Hall (Council Chambers). To register, click here.
In the meantime, we want to hear from you! How would a minimum wage increase in Sacramento affect your business and workforce? We are also seeking to schedule some meetings with councilmembers about the issue. If you wish to join us for a meeting and/or share your story, or have other information or questions, contact John Kabateck at firstname.lastname@example.org or 916-956-9027. Thank you!