SEATTLE -- The $15 wage debate rages on in Seattle with one week until Seattle Mayor Ed Murray's deadline on the proposed wage increase recommendation. Now, minority and small businesses and restaurants in the Chinatown - International District are the latest group to step in and voice their concerns
The Ethnic Community Coalition is holding a large forum Wednesday so minority employees and business owners can talk directly to Seattle City Council members about the impact of increasing the minimum wage.
“It’s like being hit with a sledgehammer. Is this really happening? What do we do? The speed of all this is alarming,” said David Leong, a long-time business owner. Leong’s family immigrated to the Seattle-area nearly 100 years ago.
Leong and dozens of minority, small business owners have written a letter to Mayor Murray and signed a petition to re-think the $15 minimum wage hike.
Many are okay with a slight increase, but their biggest concern is that they couldn't afford the nearly 60 percent pay increase, along with raising food costs and rent.
They argue if their workers are paid $15 an hour then their payrolls would costs more than what their small business makes every day.
The forum is at the New Hong Kong Restaurant on 900 S Jackson Street in Seattle from 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.