NJBIA President and CEO Michele Siekerka talked live on Yahoo Finance this afternoon to discuss the impacts of New Jersey’s minimum wage being lifted to $12 an hour on Jan. 1, the latest milestone on the state’s road to a $15 minimum wage. 

“Those who are going to be paying the additional dollar right now are those who are most dramatically affected by COVID and the slowdown in our economy in New Jersey,” Siekerka told Yahoo Finance anchor Alexis Christoforous. 

“Let’s also recognize those who can afford to pay more wages have been doing so since the very beginning of this discussion, Siekerka said. 

Siekerka contended that New Jersey should have used a pause or a temporary off-ramp to the $12 minimum wage increase as many businesses are struggling during the ongoing pandemic.

Virginia, as an example, rolled back its $9.50 start date to May 1 from Jan. 1, due to the economic slowdown. 

“We really have to think about those who are most directly impacted and how they can possibly take another expense on their balance sheet right now when they’re significantly challenged on raising revenue, even just to keep their heads above water,” Siekerka said. 

To see the complete interview, click here.