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I still have fond memories of 2019. It was east vs. west in the Super Bowl as the New England Patriots defeated the Los Angeles Rams. Gas was cheap, labor was abundant, the supply chain was flowing, and the minimum wage was $11.10 per hour. Yes, $11.10 per hour!

It was only 3 years ago, yet it seems like a lifetime ago. 

As part of the state's plan to eventually reach a $15 minimum wage statewide, on Dec. 31 the minimum wage will bump to $14.20 per hour (for our region.) That is a $1 increase or 7.6% year-over-year. Compared to 2019, it is a 28% increase.

These unprecedented increases are forcing business owners, entrepreneurs, and managers to scramble to maintain their bottom line. It is also forcing some businesses to close their doors.

Areas of southern New York have already reached the $15 per hour threshold. 

Just to put this in perspective, at $14.20 per hour, a high school student working part time at McDonald’s will now make the hourly equivalent of $30,000 annually. Like most decisions coming out of Albany, this edict is short-sighted, poorly planned and has disastrous consequences.

While many on the left describe the minimum wage debate as a battle between employee and employer, most business owners I know are paying their workers as much as they can afford. A recent report from researchers at the Harvard Business School found that each $1 increase in the minimum wage results in a 4-10% increase in the likelihood of restaurants closing. 

Even if these increases don’t force a business to close, business owners will be forced to pass it on to the consumers, nullifying these increases.

A quick search online shows NY consistently ranked as 1 of the top 2 states for exodus. In fact, New York saw a net loss of over 75 thousand families last year according to Forbes. 

If Albany continues with their woke agenda, high taxation, and anti-business platform, expect more exodus in the coming years.

Elections have consequences!