News Release: RI Minimum Wage Rises as Small Businesses Struggle for Survival

Date: September 29, 2020

Result will be more job losses in certain sectors not higher paychecks

NFIB’s State Director in Rhode Island, Christopher Carlozzi, issued the following news release and was quoted in the Providence Journal.

 

PROVIDENCE (Sept 28, 2020) – On Thursday, October 1, the minimum wage in Rhode Island increases by a dollar to $11.50 an hour as a result of legislation passed and signed into law just before the pandemic-related business shutdowns. This increase in labor costs for small businesses that will need to raise pay not just for entry-level workers but those higher on the wage scale will be very difficult at this time, especially for those in the hospitality and foodservice business hard hit by the pandemic closures and restrictions.

 

The following comments are from Christopher Carlozzi, state director of NFIB in Rhode Island, a small business association with thousands of members in the state:

 

“While lawmakers may think they are helping workers by raising the minimum wage they may end up harming them as small businesses like food service, retail and hospitality still struggle to recover from months of shutdowns and restrictions. The business owners simply can’t afford higher labor costs at this time so the jobs will be eliminated and the employees won’t have a bigger paycheck, they’ll have no paycheck.

 

Rhode Island has the second-highest unemployment rate in the nation, so the wage hike goes into effect at the worst possible time. For many of the hardest-hit businesses it may be the final nail in the coffin.”

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