Minimum Wage Letter
Together with the Hay River Chamber of Commerce and Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce, the NWT Chamber of Commerce has issued a letter to Minister RJ Simpson in regards to the recently announced increase to the minimum wage on September 01, 2021:
The NWT Chamber of Commerce represents over 100 members and over 3,500 businesses of every size and sector throughout the NWT. We are writing to you in regards to the recently announced minimum wage increase.
This past year has been devastating to businesses where most of them went three months or longer with no revenue and have now been operating at a maximum of 50% capacity. Based on recent comments by the CPHO and the GNWT, businesses can assume they will be operating in this climate for the foreseeable future. And while they have been operating in this manner, business' operating costs have had to be paid at the total amount and, in sometimes instances, at an increase.
The NWT Chamber is concerned about the timing of this increase and the necessity of it. Currently, there are only 400 individuals in the NWT that make minimum wage; over 200 are 18 and younger and the remainder are students, with a majority living at home. Thus, there is no reasonable reason to increase the minimum wage while the country is still in the middle of a pandemic where businesses are barred from operating at total capacity. A majority will be affected by this increase, operating purely on subsidies and grants. Many of these businesses relied on the Canadian Wage Subsidy (CEWS) to bring back as many employees as possible and grant programs like Northern Benefit Recovery Fund (NBRF) to cover operating costs. Unfortunately, businesses that max $100k wouldn't cover off even two months' worth of operating expenses. Many are now having their grant proceeds clawed back because, in an already challenging year with only a few months of revenue, CanNor was only looking at monthly break-even, not annual.
For the full letter - link
Minister RJ Simpson's response - link
NWT Chamber's Request to Delay Minimum Wage Increase to December/21 - link
Minister RJ Simpson and Cabinet's Response - link