Business Owners Welcome January 1st Nebraska Minimum Wage Increase

Business Owners Welcome January 1st Nebraska Minimum Wage Increase
December 22nd, 2022 | EMC Communications

Dec. 22, 2022On Jan. 1, Nebraska’s minimum wage will increase from $9 to $10.50 as the first step under Initiative 433, passed by voters in November. Business owners across the state say the minimum wage increase will boost consumer spending and strengthen Nebraska’s workforce and local businesses.

In November, 59% of Nebraska voters approved Initiative 433, which will gradually raise the state minimum wage to $15 by 2026. Nebraska Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, a coalition of more than 300 businesses across the state, supported the increase.

“Minimum wage increases are a two-way street. More money goes into workers’ paychecks, and more money gets spent by workers and their families at local businesses,” said Alma Cerretta, owner of Mana Games Café in Lincoln. “Paying fair wages is the best way you can show your employees that you value them. In return, our employees are committed and take great care of our customers.”

Dave Titterington, owner of Wild Bird Habitat Stores in Lincoln and Omaha, said, “Nebraska voters passed a $15 minimum wage in November and we’re looking forward to the first step toward $15 in January. It will bring a better new year for workers and businesses. We know from experience that paying employees a living wage increases productivity and brings us happier employees and happier customers. And raising the minimum wage will increase spending at local businesses across Nebraska.”

​​Mikaela Krueger, owner of Optika Curated Eyewear in Hastings, said, “Increasing the minimum wage will boost Nebraska businesses as people have more money to spend. When you pay people fairly, it improves your ability to hire and retain workers and deliver excellent service to customers. It shows you value employees and customers, and will help small businesses stay competitive. A higher minimum wage will encourage Nebraskans to stay here to make a living and raise families, and will help attract workers from other states.”

Amelia Rosser, owner of Sheelytown Market in Omaha, said, “Raising the minimum wage will help Nebraska workers and businesses thrive. When you treat employees fairly, they care about your business and show more dedication to their work and to customers. Raising the minimum wage will lift up the communities that local businesses like mine are rooted in.”

Nebraska’s minimum wage will increase again to $12 on Jan. 1, 2024, $13.50 on Jan. 1, 2025, and $15 on Jan. 1, 2026, ​​followed by annual cost of living adjustments so the minimum wage does not lose purchasing power.

Nebraska joins multiple states that will have a minimum wage of $15 or higher in 2026, including California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Washington State. Virginia will reach $15 in 2026, if the General Assembly votes to reenact scheduled 2025 and 2026 increases. As of Jan 1, 2023, the highest state minimum wages will be $15.50 in California and $15.74 in Washington State. The District of Columbia (D.C.) minimum wage, which increases annually on July 1, is currently $16.10.


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