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Tucson business owners prepare for new minimum wage hike

City invited businesses to learn more about requirements
Posted at 4:51 PM, Mar 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-25 11:19:26-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Good food and a chance to watch the big game: that's what people love about Wings Over Broadway.

The east side restaurant hasn't been immune to the challenges over the last two years.

"Local businesses don't have the support the large chains do," said Wings Over Broadway Owner, Ignacio Esquibel.

Esquibel is one of countless Tucson business owners who will be increasing the minimum wage for employees. The initiative was passed by voters in the November 2021 General Election.

"I don't mind the minimum wage increase as far as the non-tipped employees," said Esquibel. "My issue would be with the tipped employees because they get a wage increase also, but they can actively affect their own wages."

By Friday, April 1, the minimum wage will raise to $13. It will gradually increase to $15 by 2025.

"Everyone needs a living wage. Raising the minimum wage, as inflation goes up, is just critical to our community, our businesses and our livelihood," said City of Tucson Business Services Deputy Director, Johanna Hernandez.

On Thursday, the City of Tucson invited businesses to learn more about the requirements.

"Some of the concerns they have are the language in the proposition being kind of broad," said Hernandez. "They are looking for specificity on how this will play out. We will be working to gain that clarity over time," said Hernandez.

Esquibel anticipates the wage hike will ultimately increase prices around the city.

"This isn't something we are doing just because we want to," said Esquibel. "It's something that we have to do. Businesses, in order to survive, need that community support."

Megan Meier is a reporter for KGUN 9. Megan graduated from Arizona State Universityʼs Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications in May 2018. While pursuing her degree in broadcast journalism, Megan interned at the City of Phoenix. Share your story ideas and important issues with Megan by emailing or by connecting on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.