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After a recent article, we became aware that it is important for us to clarify who we are and our views. Flagstaff Lodging, Restaurant & Tourism Association (FLRTA) is your business advocate, working issues that impact Flagstaff and northern Arizona.

Last week many of our business community owners and managers attended our Flagstaff Business Workshop. The focus of this workshop was not our minimum wage but its impact on the cost of doing business. We all know as the minimum wage goes up, so does the cost of goods and services. Valuable information was exchanged, with many owners asking when the next workshop would be.

Last July, FLRTA became the major leader supporting Proposition 418. We knew we were facing several very large challenges at that time, one being that overturning a minimum wage has never succeeded anywhere in the U.S. Even with these challenges, we had to try to get this proposition voted in.

So what is our opinion of HB 2523, Youth Initiative, that is being considered in the Senate? The intent of this HB is correct by providing the young unskilled an ability to find employment. With the current $12 an hour minimum wage, employers require hires to have the basic skills. Job seekers with no skills are having difficulty finding jobs. Their search will only become more difficult as the minimum wage increases. This HB is a proposal to help fix a problem that is real and growing rapidly.

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Our challenge with the minimum wage is getting the public to understand the negative economic impact this is having on our city and workforce. Some of the issues are starting to reveal themselves, which will only become more pronounced as the minimum wage increases. A recent article stated that approximately 75 percent of US economists agree that a $15 an hour minimum wage will harm our economy.

Visit our website to learn more about who we are, www.flrta.org.

STEVE FINCH

Flagstaff

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