At a Dutch Bros store in Oregon City, employees are “stoked” about the bump in their paychecks they’ll get beginning Saturday. That’s the day the minimum wage goes up throughout Oregon.
Wages will jump to $11.25 an hour in the Portland metro area on July 1, $10.25 in other more-populated spots, and $10 in Oregon’s rural areas. By 2023, the minimum wage will be around $15 an hour.
“I’m pretty stoked on it. It’s going to be nice getting a little $1.50 extra,” said Dutch Bros worker Shane Mills. “I didn’t see it coming, to be honest, and now that I know it’s here I’m ecstatic.”
Mills said the extra money will help out with his car payments.
“This was designed to give businesses predictability, so it’s been phased in over a couple of years so businesses can plan for payroll expenses,” said Charlie Burr, the Communications Director for the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries.
At First City Central Marketplace and Bistro, owner Blane Meier already pays his employees more than minimum wage, but he’s concerned about the increases down the road.
“We are OK for now, but as those go up we can run into some serious trouble.”
Many businesses will have to raise prices, he said.
“As restaurants, cafes and coffee houses try to pass those costs on to customers they may run into resistance. Maybe not, but possibly.”
The state believes a higher minimum wage will eventually help local businesses like Meier’s as employees spend more money in their community.
“I can really go out to eat a little more,” Shane Mills said. “Instead of making chicken and broccoli at home, now I can go to Little Cooperstown. You know, support some of the local businesses.”