MINNEAPOLIS — The city of Minneapolis is starting to see the effects the fight for $15 minimum wage is having on small businesses.
Byte, a pub located near Target Field that strove to pay its employees $15 an hour,is having to shutter its doors eight-months after its grand opening due to budgetary reasons.
“It’s been almost 8 months since we opened our doors back in March and we’re so grateful for the overwhelming support we’ve seen from our customers, friends, and family,” according to a post on Byte’s Facebook page. “Opening Byte has been a roller coaster of an adventure but the love you all show for our food, concept, and staff is what keeps us going day in and day out. While we have enjoyed a steady and loyal customer base, we’ve also struggled with getting the volume necessary to make our business model fiscally viable in this location.”
The menu was reasonably priced for a downtown location, with a menu under $10 an entree.
According to GoMN, the owners of Byte tried to ensure their business would be “fiscally sound,” while providing benefits and what many describe to be a livable wage. However, the doors at Byte will be permanently closed on October 28.
For small businesses located in Minneapolis, Byte’s attempt and ultimate failure to keep their doors open while paying their employees $15 an hour will be the first of many examples in the discussion surrounding the city’s transition to a mandatory minimum wage of $15.
As reported by Alpha News, the Minneapolis City Council passed a resolution to adopt $15 as the new minimum wage in the city. A proposal authored by mayoral candidate and City Councilman Jacob Frey gives businesses until 2022 to transition to the new minimum wage.
Other cities, such as Seattle, Washington and San Francisco, California, have already implemented a $15 minimum wage in their cities. While the effects on businesses have been reported, supporters of a higher minimum wage describe the reports as unsubstantiated and debunkable.