The Los Angeles City Council unanimously voted last week to adopt the so-called “living wage” ordinance, which requires certain employers with city contracts or receiving city aid to pay their workers at least $7.50 an hour with benefits, or $8.50 an hour without.
Is this just one more blotch on L.A.’s arguably spotty reputation as a place to do business, or a much-needed economic salve for some of L.A.’s lowest-paid workers? The Business Journal Forum asks:
What impact do you think the living wage ordinance will have on L.A.’s reputation as a place to do business?
President and CEO
East West Bank
“In terms of the real dollar impact, it should not have a very serious impact on L.A. business. Only a small portion of the business enterprises will be affected. But I do feel the most important thing is that L.A. as a whole, particularly the media, should try to really downplay this issue because, if we keep talking it up, it will definitely have a bad impact. Everybody from the rest of the country will look at L.A. as anti-business.”
Senior Policy Associate
Crystal Stairs Inc.
“I think it will have a positive impact on the city. Part of cleaning up the city to create a good business climate is to invest in the city’s work force. L.A. wants to have a vigorous business climate and a qualified, satisfied work force. The living wage provides workers enough money to be able to meet their basic living needs and not have these concerns as a barrier to doing their job well.”
Senior Managing Director
Insignia Capital Advisors
“I think it will have more of a perceived impact than any real consequential impact. It’s just another way the government is meddling in private enterprise. The actual impact should be insignificant most respectable employers are already paying their employees close to that wage. But I think it will have an impact on L.A.’s reputation. It’s just another way L.A. is differentiating itself from other cities. We all read Larry Kosmont’s survey that L.A. is the costliest city to do business now we have added another component to that cost.”
Irell & Manella LLP
“It hurts it. Anybody who wants to come here and do business with the city must have the wages of its workers at least its lower-wage workers dictated by the city instead of what it can afford to pay.”
Richard A. Padilla
Marcus & Millichap
“The cost of doing business in L.A. is already one of the highest in the country. When you add an increase to the business person already burdened, they may stop hiring for entry-level positions, and the ones already working will probably have to work harder.”