More competitive wages serve everyone

Editor: 
Next Monday, July 1, the minimum wage in Alameda increases to $13.50 for every employee. This new law acknowledges the economic challenges minimum-wage workers confront and is an important step for the economic vitality of Alameda.

Minimum-wage workers in our community will now have a better chance to make ends meet in one of the country’s most expensive areas. The new minimum wage also allows Alameda to remain competitive with our surrounding cities. Oakland, Berkeley, Emeryville, Richmond and San Leandro have all increased their minimum wage requirements to more than $13.50 per hour.

Like most things in the Island City, it will take all of us to make the most of this change. While local businesses want to support their employees, some worry that the minimum-wage increase could impact the overall health of their businesses. They fear that if prices increase, their customers may visit them less or not at all. 

The heads of local business associations told me about how important it remains to support small businesses during this change.

“Now more than ever, Alameda residents need to know how important it is to support our local businesses,” Janet Magleby, executive director of the Downtown Alameda Business Association said. “Local businesses sponsor kids’ sports teams, donate to school fundraisers and help families in need, playing a key role in keeping Alameda vibrant.”

Linda Asbury, executive director of the West Alameda Business Association added, “It’s really important for Alamedans to look to local businesses first. Shopping local fuels our local economy, bringing in needed funding to continue improving this very special city.”  

Not only do local businesses provide needed goods and services, they know us — our favorite table, our kids’ names, our favorite authors. 

By working together and shopping local, the new minimum wage will benefit everyone. Let’s continue to support our local businesses!

 

Sarah Henry, City of Alameda