DAVIS (CBS13) — A group says it is trying to improve the economy raising the minimum wage in Davis to $15 an hour, but business owners say it will only hurt the economy.
Inspired by friends and other cities that have raised their minimum wages, Bernie Goldsmith and Sean Raycraft created the Raise The Wage Davis campaign.
“We see a lot of our friends that we went to high school with are living sub-poverty lives,” Goldsmith said.
California’s minimum wage is already set to go up to $9 an hour in July, then $10 in 2016.
This measure would ask for a minimum wage to $11 in Davis by January, then jump to $13 in July 2015, finally ending at $15 in January 2016.
Davis Fleet Feet owner J.D. Denton says he’s never opposed an increase in the minimum wage, but he worries the increase would be too much too soon. Such an increase would force him to cut jobs at the store that was just named one of the best running stores in the country in part because of its customer service.
“If we had to compromise our customer service, I hate to think of what that would do to our business,” he said.
Horace Gonzalez makes minimum wage as a manager at Yogurtland.
“I’d love to be paid a few dollars more, but not at the cost of losing some employees, cutting back hours, and slowing down business,” he said.
Goldsmith argues minimum wage increases actually help small businesses by giving workers money to spend at locally owned shops.
“The economic data shows that it’s a net zero effect on jobs,” he said.
But some shoppers wonder whether the proposed wage increase will mean you’ll pay more for goods and services in Davis.
“The companies are going to have to make up that money some other way,” said UC Davis student Brianna Sinclair.
The campaign needs to raise about 7,000 signatures to put the measure in front of voters on the November ballot.