San Jose Salary Hike Hits Chinese Business Owners

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According to the Chinese language World Journal, small and medium sized business owners in San Jose are facing difficult times following the passage of Measure D, which raised the city’s minimum wage from $8 to $10 per hour.

Chinese restaurateurs say the measure makes it that much more difficult to stay in business.

“$2 sounds like a small amount, but it quickly becomes a large amount after a day, a month and a year,” said the owner of Chinjin Eastern House, who gave her name as Sang. She says the added salary she will now have to pay her ten employees adds up to the cost of hiring an additional worker.

Measure D passed with close to 60 percent of the vote, ending a contentious battle between labor and business groups in the city. Prices in San Jose have been steadily increased in recent years with the growth of Silicon Valley. Business groups contended the pay hike would put a serious crimp on employment.

Before the election, the South Bay Labor Council issued a written statement noting that opponents of the measure had poured in close to four times the amount of money that supporters had. One of the largest source of donations came from the National Restaurant Association, which gave a combined $155,000.