In minimum wage debate, let’s not forget small businesses

Tomorrow morning, the Board of Supervisors will discuss asking the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) to analyze and prepare a report on the fiscal and economic impact of raising the minimum wage in the County. Raising the minimum wage is a hotly debated issue and as the largest county in the country, Los Angeles County should join the national conversation and take a fair and balanced approach to studying it.

At the same time though, I will be introducing a motion to instruct our Department of Consumer and Business Affairs, along with the Small Business Commission and LAEDC, to conduct hearings in unincorporated areas of the County, to give business owners the opportunity to comment on a potential minimum wage ordinance.

If we are to consider requiring businesses to pay their employees more, we need to understand all of the economic benefits, as well as the impacts on businesses of all sizes. I want to ensure that the mom and pop stores–the dry cleaners, the car washes, the nail salons–around Los Angeles County have an opportunity to let their voices be heard during this process. I believe that they should be engaged directly and be offered the chance to voice their thoughts and ideas about a minimum wage increase