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Coalition of NY businesses embrace minimum wage hike

New York State’s minimum wage is set to rise to $16 in New York City, Long Island, and Westchester County, and $15 for the rest of the state on January 1, a move welcomed by business owners across the state.

This increase, the first in a series, is part of a progressive wage raise plan passed earlier this year, aiming to reach $17 and $16 in these areas respectively by 2026. From 2027, the minimum wage will be indexed annually, although an “off-ramp” provision could pause these adjustments during times of rising unemployment.

Business leaders across the state, including Phil Andrews, president of the Long Island African American Chamber of Commerce, and Annie Adams, owner of Second Chic in Buffalo, have expressed support for the wage increase, highlighting its potential to boost consumer spending and improve local economies.

Business owners like Michael Lastoria of &pizza and Jessica Galen of Bloomy Cheese & Provisions in Dobbs Ferry emphasize the broader economic benefits of higher wages, including increased consumer spending, employee retention, and overall community wellbeing.

Deepti Brambl, CEO of Kaylaan, and Scott Tillitt, founder of Beahive, also support the increase, citing the positive impact on employee morale and local businesses. Despite this progress, the New York Business for a Fair Minimum Wage Coalition, representing over 300 businesses, advocated for an even more robust increase to $21.25 by 2026/2027, as proposed in the 2023 Raise the Wage Act, to better match the cost of living and maintain the minimum wage’s value over time.