Small Business Reading Room

Monday, July 12, 2004

New Living Wage Law in Santa Fe, New Mexico

Santa Fe New Mexico has become the first city to enact a living wage (minimum wage) law that covers ALL persons employed in businesses that have more than 25 employees.

Previous city enacted minimum wage laws covered only city and contract workers.

Business leaders are expecting employers with 25 - 35 employees to lay off enough workers to avoid the law. Alternate ways of avoiding the law, should it survive legal challenge, are to move out of the city or split enterprises into less than 25 employee chunks. The text of the law is available at the Santa Fe website.

Given the dire predictions made by the business community in Santa Fe, you would think they should have been more in touch with the political process. This is just another area, like marketing, finance and production, that a small business must attend to. Even the great Bill Gates could not avoid political/legal entanglements for long.

My advice is to get to know your local politicians. Stay in touch with them and let them know what issues you care about. You ignore this powerful force that could affect your business at your peril.


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