Virginia’s minimum wage will increase to $12 on Jan. 1

The new year will bring another minimum wage increase in Virginia. Come January 1, it will be $12.
Published: Dec. 27, 2022 at 4:49 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The new year will bring another minimum wage increase in Virginia. Come January 1, it will be $12.

By 2026, the minimum wage will hit $15.

Last year, it went up by $1.50. In 2023, it’s going up another dollar, from $11 to $12.

“They should go gradually. This is like a big jump and too fast,” Tobacco & More Shop owner Malik Charania said.

Malik Charania has owned his smoke shop, Tobacco & More, in the Museum District since 2007.

As a local small business owner, he says it has been hard to bounce back post-pandemic.

“COVID was really, really bad and stressful for everyone,” he said. “Business was almost nothing.”

Now, he says the minimum wage increase will put a strain on business owners still struggling.

“It is a good thing that people are getting more money, but it hurts stores like us,” he said. “They should have waited because of the COVID and all of that.”

On the other hand, longtime Richmond resident Jody Gordon praises Virginia lawmakers for prioritizing workers.

“Anybody that works for a living should be able to earn a living and feed their family on what they make,” Gordon said. “I’m in favor of raising the minimum wage. Wages should be at a level where people can afford to work and raise a family and not have to count on the government for assistance and aid.”

Many businesses, especially restaurants, have bumped pay to combat staffing shortages.

Gordon says minimum wage is crucial in keeping people on the job.

“Minimum wage, I think, is necessary because, unfortunately, some people are so greedy, they just will not pay a fair amount to their help. They’ve taken all of it and put it in their pockets,” he said. “On the other hand, you have to make a living, or you can’t stay in business. So it has to be a give and take.”

In total, 27 states will see an increase in the minimum wage in the new year.