Business Outlook Drops to All-Time Low after Minimum Wage Increase

A home under construction. Photo via Wikimedia Commons

In the wake of the city’s minimum-wage increase, confidence among county businesses has dropped to an all-time low, according to a forecast released Monday by the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce.

The monthly Silvergate Bank-sponsored business forecast fell to its lowest point since the survey began in August 2013. The so-called business outlook index has been up and down since January and is now at 15.7, down from 21.3 last month, according to the chamber.

While this is the lowest point the index has hit since the survey’s start, the business community’s outlook is still in positive territory since the results can range from a high of 100 to a low of negative 100.

This month’s forecast also took the annual measurement of how business friendly local governments are and whether firms are considering moving out of the county. The findings showed that not much has changed since last year, according to the chamber.

Most businesses see their local government as being overall friendly to commerce, and the percentage of businesses considering a move out of the county has essentially remained the same at 13 percent.

“We continue to see the impact government regulations, specifically minimum wage increases, have on the local business climate,” said Jerry Sanders, president and CEO of the chamber. “This month, we see minimum wage contributing to how friendly businesses view government and in turn, how likely a company is to relocate.”

“This is important information for our elected officials when considering business retention in the region, Sanders added.

The new city minimum wage of $10.50 per hour went into effect on July 11.

City News Service contributed to this article.