SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) --A new year means a new minimum wage for many Bay Area cities and more increases are on the way.
Even as the minimum wage goes up across the Bay Area, the debate over what to pay still rages on.
There is support for those who will be making more money. "It's absolutely necessary. We have so many of our staff that work at the health clinic that rely on us paying a salary to live," health care clinic employee Theresa Devonshire said.
There's also concern for those who will be paying it. "I also know it is hard for employers, too. They have to pay rent. There is an issue on both sides," San Jose resident Ali Kwon said.
San Jose is now paying a minimum of $10.50 an hour. It's now $12 in San Leandro and San Mateo and $12.55 in Oakland.
"I really think they are hurting the small businesses. It's killing us," insurance company owner Ruben Reyna said.
Reyna said everything is getting more expensive. This is going to force him to shut down one of his locations. "I mean, I am happy for these people. Everyone needs a break at the same time, but give the business owners a break too as well, tax wise and so forth, because we are just getting nailed on it," he said.
Cities are trying to help business owners by gradually increasing the minimum wage. Many cities are trying to help business owners by gradually increasing the minimum wage.
Many cities, like San Jose, will see another increase in July and then another one next January.
One bottom line everyone can agree on - life here is expensive. "Someone who makes a salary that is not on minimum wage, it is hard to live in the Bay Area. The cost of living is so high," Kwon said.