Monday night a collective force of businesses and City Council members changed the conversation about minimum wage. This is an incredible accomplishment in the midst of a national movement mired in rhetoric so ingrained in our citizens about raising the wage in Los Angeles. Our small business community is not opposed to an increase but has concerns about the rate of escalation, the real-life challenges we face and having our voices heard. We did it! You gave voice to this issue loudly and articulately, making a difference in the future of your business and its survival. Collectively we fought for ensuring that West Hollywood remains a unique boutique community.
What was apparent by the research gathered by UCLA Labor Center was that the majority of our businesses already pay well above the State minimum. However, following the Los Angeles schedule is really not suitable for our unique business landscape. Therefore a compromise was reached and the Council passed a vote to draft a local ordinance to raise the minimum wage to $12 on July 1, 2017, for businesses with 26 or more employees. For businesses with 25 or fewer employees and for non-profit organizations, the increase will go into effect in 2018. After 2020, future increases would be tied to the Consumer Price Index. This also allows time to see what the State of California decides on the November 2016 ballot this upcoming election. In the next 60 days the City and Chamber will be reaching out to you to understand the impact this increase will have on each of your businesses.
Thanks to all of you who wrote letters and came out to speak. This is an important shift in the conversation and we are incredibly proud of the work all of us have done to get us to this important milestone. We have more work to do. But, for now, let’s enjoy our victory in Monday night’s decision to move towards an equitable solution to the minimum wage debate.
Thank you for your hard work and tireless commitment to West Hollywood!
West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce