Minimum wage increase forcing some businesses to raise prices

Published: Jan. 11, 2017 at 9:30 AM MST|Updated: Mar. 2, 2018 at 11:19 AM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Customers can expect to start paying more at local restaurants and shops.

Prices are going up at local businesses after the state passed Prop 206 in November 2016.

It raised the minimum wage to $10 from around $8 as of Jan. 1.

Wages will continue to increase to $12 by 2020.

Now many businesses are trying to find ways to cut costs in order to pay their employees more.

The owner of Coffee X Change on Tucson's east side, Johnathon Thantehrai, says the increase is a domino effect.

The coffee shop is known for its 24/7 service, but now he says they can't keep their doors open all night anymore.

Next week, they'll increase their prices across the board.

Thantehrai said the shop's supplier also increased their prices, and now customers will have to foot the bill.

"It's not just us that raised prices, if you go anywhere else…you go get a car wash, you get a haircut, you go eat, their prices went up," Thantehrai said. "So that means the people who got paid $10, now they still have to go get a haircut, go get their car washed, so they are still paying more money."

In the end, he said people are not making more money, despite being paid more.

"If anything, you are making the same or maybe even less," he said.

Thantehrai is not alone in finding ways to cut costs.

The owner of Union Public House has reduced kitchen hours and increased their prices around 10 percent.

The owner of Ghinis French Caffe is taking time before making any big changes to the business.

A menu price hike could be in the near future.

The owner of El Charro, Pub 1922 and Sir Vezas Taco Garage is looking into a price increase, but said he doesn't want to overact and implement staff or menu changes just yet.

All of the businesses say cutting staff is the last resort.

Copyright 2017 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved. 

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