Momentum appears to be increases as more than 100 St. Louis businesses support “Save the Raise” campaign
ST. LOUIS, MO/August 7, 2017 (STL.News) St. Louis’ “Save The Raise” campaign appears to be gaining momentum.
The initiative was launched on July 14th and is aimed at persuading city business owners to maintain St. Louis’ wage hike of $10 per hour. Organizers held a news conference along Cherokee Street in south St. Louis on Monday, where it was announced that more than 100 city business owners have pledged to keep the minimum wage at that rate.
Jason Deem, owns several businesses along Cherokee Street, including “South Side Spaces”. He is among these business owners who are on board with this effort.
Deem is also calling on larger companies to follow suit.
“It’s unfortunate that us as small businesses are having to lead the charge, but we’ll take that burden and we’ll prove that it works and we’ll be that case study and I think that a lot of these businesses here on Cherokee Street will be that case study. We’ll prove to our elected officials that this does work.” said Deem.
“I treated the minimum wage increase just like the cost of a can of tomatoes going up for my restaurants,” said Casey Miller, co-owner of the Vista Room restaurant and two other businesses in the city. “The sky didn’t fall.”
St. Louis Alderwoman Kara Spencer of the 20th Ward spoke at the news conference. She said she isn’t surprised by the amount of support this initiative has received by city owned businesses.
Spencer also said this is something that should be happening statewide, “I cannot fathom why we are rolling back the wage. I mean why would we be doing this? This is something we passed locally. We should do this statewide. We should be raising the wage statewide, not rolling it back. This is ridiculous.”
In 2015, the St. Louis Board of Aldermen approved a minimum wage hike to $10 per hour, going up to $11 per hour in 2018. This was followed by a two-year legal ping pong game after a group of city business owners filed a lawsuit to block the minimum wage increase. The case ended up before the Missouri Supreme Court, which ruled in favor of the city in May.
The law immediately went into effect.
However, the wage hike is set to be rolled back on August 28th after the Missouri Legislature passed a bill that prohibits local governments from establishing their own minimum wage. The state’s minimum wage is set at $7.70 per hour.