Windsor residents prepare for minimum wage hike coming Monday
'I am afraid of the effects it is going to have on small business owners'
An increase to Ontario's minimum wage comes into effect on Monday, and businesses in the city are preparing for the change.
The Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, introduced by Premier Kathleen Wynne's Liberal government, will hike the minimum wage from the current $11.60/hr to $14/hr on January 1 — a 21 per cent increase. The minimum wage would be set to rise again on Jan. 1, 2019 to $15/hr.
Rizk Hamieh has spent the last ten years cooking and serving shawarma to students around the university area. He owns Shawarma Castle on Wyandotte Street West.
He said his prices are geared towards students who often have a small budget, but with the provincial government's plan to increase minimum wage he will have to raise his prices.
"It has been hard for us … I have to focus on the student budget too, I don't want to go too high, I want to find a good number for the students," he said.
Along with increasing his prices he is planning on spending less time with his family at home and more time at the restaurant.
"Usually I work seven to eight hours a day, but right now I am going to have to work for 10 hours," said Hamieh. "I have to bring my wife too."
Hamieh said he normally has two days off a week but going into the new year he will be lucky to have one day off.
Dave Ferrato has worked at a local grocery store gathering shopping carts and stocking shelves for about one year.
I am afraid of the effects it is going to have on small business owners ... It would make it easier but right now I can make all my payments.- Dave Ferrato, grocery store employee
Even though Ferrato has to budget for rent, car payments and insurance on a minimum wage salary, he is nervous the minimum wage increase is going to starve out business owners.
"I wouldn't mind minimum wage going up but not to the extent that it is and not the speed that it is ...I am afraid of the effects it is going to have on small business owners, even large business owners," he said. "It would make it easier but right now I can make all my payments."