Springfield business owners prepare to implement minimum wage hike

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois – Some workers across the state may see a pay increase next month. Beginning Jan. 1, the minimum wage for most workers in Illinois has risen by $13 an hour. 1.

“The minimum wage law improves the standard of living for all workers in our state,” Illinois Department of Labor Director Jane Flanagan said in a statement Wednesday. “Employers and employees should be aware of the increase in the minimum wage in Illinois.”

Boone’s owner Mike Zengilani supports a gradual increase in the minimum wage, and some of his employees have already reached $15 an hour.

“You don’t earn anything without employees, so I’m all for that,” Zenjilani said. “Employees do work hard, and they need money.”

At Cafe Moxo, owner Mark Forinash says his employees have been making $15 an hour since 2009. Since then, they’ve made even more money.

“My goal is how do we get the best and the brightest and pay them a wage that can support their families without them having to work two or three jobs at the same time, and how can we grow that business and them at the same time? time together,” Forinash said.

But if hourly wages rise, businesses will have to plan how to make up the difference with the extra cash.

“It obviously means you have to work harder to figure out where the money is coming from, because if you stay where you are, you lose money,” Zenjilani said.

It also means raising prices on certain menu items.

“I’m just planning to add if food price increases are just to offset it,” Zengilani said.

With the cost of living rising, business owners also want to make sure their employees have enough money to make ends meet.

“With prices going up and everything, whether it’s food, cars or gasoline, you have to play along,” Forinash said. “Even if we’re only paid $15 an hour and we live there, it’s not going to help them get where they need to go.”

While Forinash also believes the $15 minimum wage increase should be pushed through 2025, he questions whether that will be enough going forward.

“We’ve got to look at, is $15 enough in 2024, 2025, 2026? I’m not sure,” Forinash said.

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