Stay Green expresses concern over wage hike; forum planned for Wednesday


Ahead of several Santa Clarita Valley businesses getting together to discuss business strategy for businesses to address the challenges of the new minimum wage hike, an award-winning local landscape company recently talked about the significant increase in operating costs associated with the wage hike.

It’s a fact of life for Southern California businesses, workers and customers: A graduated 67-percent hike in the Los Angeles County minimum wage is increasing overall labor costs, jeopardizing jobs and increasing customers’ costs for goods and services.

“Everyone needs to be prepared for inflation in the pricing of goods and services throughout Southern California,” says Stay Green CEO Chris Angelo. “The simple truth is a minimum wage increase doesn’t just affect labor costs for minimum wage workers — it affects every labor cost throughout a business, and it affects labor costs across a wide variety of industries: fast food, hospitality, janitorial services, and more. Those costs are on the rise in L.A. County, and the impacts are felt not just in L.A. County but throughout Southern California.”

L.A. County is in the midst of a six-year, 67-percent increase in the minimum wage, with yearly increases ranging from 5 percent to 14 percent every year from 2015 to 2020, elevating the minimum wage from $9 in 2014 to $15 in 2020. A new increase took effect July 1, 2018, raising the minimum wage to $13.25 for large businesses — a 47 percent increase since 2014.

The Santa Clarita Valley’s Chamber of Commerce and the SCV’s Economic Development Corp. are teaming up to inform businesses about new minimum wage-law updates next month.

The forum is scheduled to take place at the College of the Canyons University Center, on Wednesday, Aug. 1

Angelo said Stay Green Inc. places a high priority on delivering value and excellent service to clients, while also providing competitive pay and benefits for the employees who help Stay Green continue to succeed as a Southern California landscape industry leader. It can be a delicate balancing act, and at the core of that balancing act, Stay Green constantly strives to apply its values of efficiency, fairness and integrity.

“The balancing act is getting increasingly challenging,” Angelo said.

“The minimum wage increases that have already happened, and those still to come in the next several years, are backing L.A. County businesses into a corner.”

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