Workers in seven Bay Area cities are seeing a hike in their minimum wage Monday.
While the City of Milpitas says the increase is a positive for the local economy, some small business owners are left figuring out how to survive.
Casa Azteca has been serving homemade mexican food in Milpitas for almost 40 years.
Current owner Hari Dahal says being a small business means having a relationship with the community.
“If they ask for donations we never say no,” Dahal said.
But he worries the restaurant won’t always be able to stay afloat
“Maybe I have to cut some times in order to survive. The rent is so high, the cost of goods is so high,” he said. “It’s so hard to survive as a restaurant in the Bay Area.”
On Monday, the minimum wage in the city ticked up from $13.50 an hour to $15.
Milpitas Economic Development Director Alex Andrade says it will be a positive impact for the local economy
“I believe it will have a positive externality,” Andrade said. “It’ll put more dollars in people’s pockets so they can go out, shop and dine and put that money back into the local economy.”
Dahal has about 25 full and part time employees.
Because of the hike, he may have to cut back some of their hours and menu items will likely rise about $4.
“Everybody fighting for their rights. But no one is fighting for businessman’s rights. We have to find a balance,” Dahal said.