Minimum Wage Increases For Start of '09

By: Danielle Saar Email
By: Danielle Saar Email
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Good news for minimum wage and tipped workers: On Thursday, your wages will increase 26 cents, to adjust for inflation.

As 2009 kicks off, the minimum wage goes up in Colorado.

"That's kind of exciting--it helps with everything. It'll make life a little bit easier hopefully," says Sheena Campbell, a barista at The Daily Grind Cafe.

Campbell was making $7.02, but will now be earning $7.28 starting January 1.

Tipped workers, like restaurant wait staff, will see their minumum rise from $4.00 to $4.26.

"I didn't actually think it was going to go up that much," says Campbell.

However, Campbell's boss, co-owner of The Daily Grind Cafe on Union Avenue, Charles Sole, says this 26 cent increase is great for places like Boulder and Denver, but will make it tough on small business owners in Pueblo.

"We're not looking forward to it," says Sole.

Sole says this wage increase is going to be tough on Pueblo business owners.

"It's kinda funny that in a small town like this, we have to pay like what you'd pay somebody in the big city. Which, like I said, it is going to hurt a lot of small businesses here in town I think."

Sole says he's thinking of changing his staff from minimum wage workers to tipped workers--in order to keep from laying anyone off.

Colorado's minimum wage has jumped 41 percent since 2006, when the voter-approved constitutional amendment tying it to inflation took effect.

The federal minimum wage is $6.55 an hour and will increase to $7.25 an hour in July.

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