Owner of pizza shop says new Seattle minimum wage law is forcing her to close

zpizza
Q3Fox:  It may be one of the first casualties of Seattle’s new minimum wage law. The owner of Z Pizza says she’s being forced to close her doors, because she can’t afford the higher labor costs.
Devin Jeran was happy to get a raise, when Seattle’s minimum wage went up to $11 an hour at the beginning of the month. “I definitely recognize that having more money is important,” he says, “especially in a city as expensive as this one.”
Unfortunately, he’ll only enjoy that bigger paycheck for a few more months. In August, his boss is shutting down Z Pizza and putting him and his 11 co-workers out of work. “Fortunately she keeps us in the loop, she didn’t just tell us last minute.”
Ritu Shah Burnham doesn’t want to go out of business, but says she can’t afford the city’s mandated wage hikes. “I’ve let one person go since April 1, I’ve cut hours since April 1, I’ve taken them myself because I don’t pay myself,” she says. “I’ve also raised my prices a little bit, there’s no other way to do it.”
Small businesses in the city have up to six more years to phase in the new $15 an hour minimum wage. But Shah Burnham says even though she only has one store with 12 employees, she’s considered part of the Z Pizza franchise — a large business. So she has to give raises within the next two years.
“I know that I would have stayed here if I had 7 years, just like everyone else, if I had an even playing field,” she says. “The discrimination I’m feeling right now against my small business makes me not want to stay and do anything in Seattle.”

Jess "No Comment" Spear

Jess “No Comment” Spear


We reached out to 15 Now Seattle, the organization that pushed for the higher minimum wage. Director Jess Spear hadn’t heard about Z Pizza’s decision to close. So she wouldn’t comment specifically on that, only saying: “Restaurants open and close all the time, for various reasons.”
Jeran wonders about all the rallies that were supposed to be about making life better for people like him. “If that’s the truth, I don’t think that’s very apparent. People like me are finding themselves in a tougher situation than ever.”
Shah Burnham is concerned about where her employees will end up when she does close. “I absolutely am terrified for them. I have no idea where they’re going to find jobs, because if I’m cutting hours, I imagine everyone is across the board.”
We asked Seattle’s mayor and City Council members if they had anything to say about this closure or the other business owners who might be struggling to adapt to this new wage law. But we have not heard back from them yet.
DCG

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0 responses to “Owner of pizza shop says new Seattle minimum wage law is forcing her to close

  1. No doubt Devin Jeran, who was so happy to get the raise but now finds himself out of work, had voted for the “Progressive” Seattle mayor and the city council.
    Another example of the Left voting with their feeeelings instead of their brains. Elections have consequences! Suck it up, buttercup.

     
    • “Hey just double the price of the pizzas, then she’ll have plenty of money” Liberal Logic 101

       
  2. Just another liberal failure you will never hear an apology for. This fits right in with their agenda, destroy all industry, even using the EPA if needed.
    I want to be in the front row when karma finally smacks them between their eyes,

     
  3. From $7.28 to $9.00 per hour immediately is a big financial impact to any businesses. It should had been increased to $8.28 at $1.00, then to $9.28 in a year. Paying employees to sling hamburgers at $15.00/pr hour is way too much, and then many want medical care and a retirement fund. Those that need $15.00 per hour to support their families need to obtain a skill that pays that amount or more. However, salaries should NOT be so low that employees will qualify for food stamps or other state benefits. Fast food, pizza and other similar food businesses should raise their prices to absorb at least 33% to offset some hourly wages. Employees of the closed businesses can give thanks to the idiot state legislators, who now have to pay out unemployment to the layoff off workers.

     
    • Doesn’t make any difference to me-they can DOUBLE their prices if they want. I haven’t been able to afford to eat downtown for 5 years.
      I can’t believe so many people still don’t get that the minimum wage jobs are NOT meant to be a career choice;that income is a subsistence wage for newbies in the work force,to carry them until they’ve learned enough to move on to a BETTER job,leaving an opening for another person new to the workforce to begin the learning process. By forcing employers to pay full wages to people who don’t yet know HOW to work,they’re not only cutting off the branch they’re standing on,they’re making it impossible for the person behind them to start learning how to work a job,move up to better jobs,etc. Only a die-hard Progressive could be so blind to the obvious.

       
  4. It’s little wonder that city hall has not responded . . . after all they are all fat and happy with their inflated wages. Why worry about the little guy who may well end up on the street. When officials do not tout the line of each and every individual developing greater and greater skills to move up in the job market–they are betraying their constituents. Entry level jobs were never intended as family wage earning jobs; they were intended as a place to get your foot in the door in the labor market. Shame on people who are to stupid to understand that fact.

     
  5. Such idiots who passed this law…..
    Martha Silva
    >

     
  6. The inability of today’s teenagers to obtain legal work prevents skill acquisition.  It’s leading to lower incomes not only now but will lead to lower wages for the rest of their lives.  Those who lobby for higher minimum wages usually discuss the difficulty in making a living or raising a family on the minimum wage.  This won’t be the case for (most) teenagers.  Further, teenagers lack skills and experience.  Because of this, they aren’t worth as much to businesses as experienced workers who deserve pay increases from time to time. -Matt Rousu, associate professor of economics at Susquehanna University.
    A 10.6 percent minimum wage increase in 2009 resulted in the loss of 600,000 teen jobs in six months, even with a 4 percent economic expansion. Why focus upon teen employment? Because teens comprise the bulk of minimum wage earners. And most minimum wage earners do not work full-time.

     

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