On both sides of this debate, the evidence is too sparse to amount to much. Of course, in reality the question is not whether “an” increase in minimum wage would force some businesses to close: rather, the question is how BIG an increase would be required to force how MANY businesses to close. It’s also worth pointing out that it at least could be good, ethically, for some restaurants to close. >>>
Anti-minimum wage conservatives are in full gloat over a recent report in a Seattle magazine that lots of Seattle restaurants have closed lately or are due to close in the next weeks or months.
The conservatives gleefully associate this phenomenon with the coming increase in the city’s minimum wage, which kicks in April 1 with a rise to $11 an hour from $9.32. (Employers whose workers earn tips get a break–they can pay $10 if the workers make up at least another dollar from their tips.) The wage hike builds over time; for employers with fewer than 500 workers, which would probably cover every full-service Seattle restaurant, the ultimate increase to $16.49–or $15 for tip earners–doesn’t happen until 2021…..