SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - San Diegans sent a clear message on Primary Tuesday by approving to give workers a raise, but small business owners said the move will be disastrous for them.
With the proposition's passage, San Diego's minimum wage will increase almost immediately to $10.50 an hour, and go to $11.50 an hour on Jan. 1. It would also provide five days of annual paid sick leave.
Not relieved about the prop's passage are small business owners like Camille Bsaibes who owns three local restaurants, including Alladin in Hillcrest. He said the focus should be on fixing the economy as a whole.
"If you just increase the minimum wage and you don't fix the economy, we as small business owners suffer," he said.
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Supporters, notably Councilman Todd Gloria, argue that putting extra cash into the hands of tens of thousands of San Diegans will help the economy.
"That is transforming for many, many families. For veterans, for hardworking people who waited too long, now the relief will be here," said Gloria.
The sick leave portion will improve public health since employees won't feel compelled to report to work when they're sick, according to supporters.
The state's hourly minimum wage is currently $10, and is set to go up to $10.50 in January. It wouldn't surpass San Diego's rate until 2019, if the measure is passed.