KAMLOOPS — The Kamloops Chamber of Commerce has reacted favourably to the B.C. government's decision Thursday to increase the minimum wage.
"Our initial reaction is actually one of positivity," said President Paul Ross. "We've never been opposed to the minimum wage increases. What we were always advocating for was a consistent slow increase so that all our businesses can manage our own budgets and cash flows and make sure we can handle this addtional expense."
Ross believes businesses will be able to absorb the four minimum wage increases between 2018 and 2021 which represent a 34 per cent increase over four years eventually arriving at $15.20 an hour in June 2021.
"I hope so. It's not going to be easy for some, I can tell you that. But it's something we're going to have to deal with and continue to work with our cash flow and budgeting to make sure we can afford employees and end up with a profit at the end of the day."
Asked if he felt businesses had enough input into the wage increase, Ross said "as far as I know, I think there was."
The Fair Wages Commission, the body tasked with helping guide public engagement on how B.C. should achieve a $15-an-hour minimum wage, recommended the following schedule of increases:
- June 1, 2018: $12.65 an hour ($1.30 increase)
- June 1, 2019: $13.85 ($1.20 increase)
- June 1, 2020: $14.60 ($0.75 increase)
- June 1, 2021: $15.20 ($0.60 increase)
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