Minimum wage increases around Oregon

A 2016 law divided the state into three zones, with different minimum wages. (BOLI)

Minimum wage went up across Oregon on Monday.

The minimum wage is up 50 cents in Lane County, but the increase varies across the state.

KVAL News spoke with a local business, who says some businesses may feel the growing pains more than others.

Manager of Vero Espresso House in Eugene for nine years, Cindy Casey, says she’s not too worried about the wage hike.

“We’re fortunate we have a really strong clientele,” she says.

Casey says her staff of 13 begin at minimum wage, but are quickly bumped up to a higher pay with tips, without having to raise prices for customers.

“We try to promote longevity in the workplace,” she says.

But, she says new, small businesses might not be able to survive the increase because of the long list of fees to run a business, such as swiping credit cards.

“Just to have the service, you're paying an easy $2,000 a month, and that's just for the middle man,” she says.

Leaving some businesses in Lane County with raised prices, trying to get by.

The new minimum wage for Lane County is $10.75. The Portland area totals to $12 per hour, and non-urban counties are at $10.50 per hour.

That’s more than $1,000 before taxes for every full-time employee making minimum wage in Lane County.

“Right now, it doesn't necessarily affect us,” she says.

But, according to the State of Oregon, the minimum wage will continue to increase until 2022.

She says she and the owner of Vero Espresso House might be worried then.

“In the coming years, in the end of the cap, that it will, she thinks, it’ll put out small businesses,” she says.

Hoping Vero Espresso House isn’t one of them.

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