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Minimum wage in WNY will increase by $.70 at the end of the year

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Posted at 11:16 PM, Sep 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-27 23:16:06-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Minimum wage in Western New York is set to increase at the end of the year by 70 cents. The wage will go from $12.50 to $13.20.

“When we’re all on that same path and we’re comfortable knowing a 5-year plan, your prices will be affected, people can prepare ahead of time,” Owner of Santora’s Pizza Pub and Grill Paul Santora said.

Santora said the minimum wage increase is not much of a shock.

“If they don’t do it for four or five years then all of a sudden it got up two dollars an hour, that’s detrimental,” Santora said.

He says both businesses and consumers have time to prepare when the increase is expected. In New York State, the minimum wage has been on a steady increase since 2016, moving towards $15 an hour. But the pandemic changes things.

“The way staffing has been and thew way the labor shortage has been and people coming back to work, the minimum wage almost seems irrelevant at this time,” Santora said.

Even with the minimum wage increase, many businesses here in Western New York are paying above that, so some say it won’t affect them.

“I don’t think there’s anybody hiring for less than 15 dollars an hour in any situation,” Santora said.

Santora says labor shortages have caused businesses to increase their wages, even before the state required it.

“We’re trying to do the best we can, not only get the best employees but also to pay them and offset those addition finances,” Santora said.

He says the pandemic has had a bigger negative effect on businesses than the wage increase.

“Just based on the fact of the cost to get an employee in the door,” Santora said.

Consumers can also expect to see prices increase. He says at his restaurant, costumers should expect a 10% to 25% hike in prices, due to both increased labor costs and supply chain shortages.