Councilmembers to Propose Study on Minimum Wage & Business Incentives

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Citing the ongoing national conversation about minimum wage policies, and the recent adoption of a local minimum wage by both the City and County of Los Angeles, Vice Mayor Suja Lowenthal has authored a proposal, cosponsored by Councilmembers Lena Gonzalez, Dee Andrews, and Rex Richardson, that the Council initiate a study of the potential impact of local wage increases on Long Beach, and how the City might respond, as well possible incentives and or fee reductions to businesses and non-profits.

“Considering so many of our neighboring cities and jurisdictions have approved minimum wage increases, it is important for Long Beach to at least look at whether a minimum wage is appropriate here, and what incentives for businesses might be appropriate as well,” said Vice Mayor Suja Lowenthal.

The agenda item for the August 11 Council Meeting would direct the City Manager to request the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) to study the potential impact of a minimum wage for Long Beach, and possible incentives for businesses and non-profit organizations. In addition, the legislation asks the City’s Economic Development Commission to also provide input and feedback on possible minimum wage increases and or business incentives. The LAEDC completed and published a report to the LA County Board of Supervisors in June.

“It’s important that we simply get all the facts and this report will help us do that,” said Councilman Andrews. “We want to support our business community and our workforce, as well as, the families that are in dire need of a living wage.”

“I am confident that we can have a constructive and informed conversation about the issue and find the best way to proceed for our City,” Councilwoman Gonzalez said. “I am looking forward to the discussion about what is best for our entire economy.”

Councilmember Richardson said, “ Long Beach families deserve a seat at the table in the national conversation on poverty and wages. This study will give us an opportunity to begin a true discussion on the benefits and impacts that raising the wage would have on Long Beach.”

Pasadena, Santa Monica, and West Hollywood are all exploring raising the city minimum wage. In addition to the City and County of Los Angeles, other cities that have recently adopted a minimum wage include San Diego, Chicago, New York, Washington, D.C., Seattle, and Oakland. The University of California also recently adopted a $15 minimum wage, to be implemented over the next three years.

The LAEDC’s Institute for Applied Economics was commissioned by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to conduct a study and make a report on the potential implications of a minimum wage policy for the County. That report was completed and presented to the Board of Supervisors in June.

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