Over the weekend, Danny Westneat interviewed a lefty restaurateur about what a poorly crafted $15 minimum wage law would do to his business. The restaurateur's first thought: He'd have to close.
It would be a huge loss to the city if we lost local, independently owned businesses that can't absorb a 60 percent wage hike the way that chain businesses can. We can raise the minimum wage and keep our independent business alive if we do this correctly. Small and independent businesses need time to manage the financial impact of a wage increase as large as this. Otherwise, big chains who can leverage their labor and supplies nationally and internationally will have an unfair advantage.
It's not like there wouldn't be restaurants left in Seattle if a poorly planned $15 increase goes through—it's just that they won't be the ones who care about our community and sustainability.