Alma Seletta

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As a small business owner, I am happy that the minimum wage was voted on.

Initiative 433 offers every way Nebraska moves forward by increasing the minimum wage.

When we opened Mana Games Café, we wanted to avoid the low wages, high turnover, and low morale business models that are all too common in our industry.

I’ve worked in the service industry for over 10 years in low paying jobs, working as a supervisor and cafe manager. I’ve seen firsthand how low wages hurt employees and businesses.

We pay more than the current minimum wage of $9 because every worker needs a minimum wage and every interaction with a customer matters. Our team is the most important part of our business.

Paying a fair wage is the single best way to show your employees that you care about them. In return, our employees are dedicated, productive, and customer-focused.

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Happy employees provide better customer service and customer experience is essential to our success.

Happy customers keep coming back and bringing friends and family.

At Mana, we want people of all ages to feel welcome, whether they’re coming for breakfast or lunch on the weekdays or playing games with friends and family on the weekends. We want you to feel welcome.

We want people to have super fun, community-oriented experiences. We want to provide cafes with delicious food at affordable prices. We also prioritize buying from local vendors to preserve our fellow small businesses.

Most of the time, people stop by Mana and ask if they are hiring. They want to work in a comfortable place to work, and they want to work in a comfortable place to work as a customer.

Fair wages make companies stronger. They also make our economies and our communities stronger.

At Nebraska’s current minimum wage of $9, a full-time worker earns just $18,700 a year. you can’t get by with it. We can’t afford all the basics like food, housing, transportation, medical bills, and day care. Not to mention unexpected expenses.

A higher minimum wage means more money for people who really need it to make a living. It also means more consumer spending for businesses across Nebraska.

Raising the minimum wage is a two-way street. More money goes into workers’ salaries and more money is spent by workers in local businesses and their families.

A higher minimum wage means more people can afford to go out to eat, enjoy family vacations, and be customers of small businesses like myself.

Initiative 433 will gradually raise the minimum wage to $15 by 2026, then adjust the annual cost of living so as not to lose purchasing power in the future.

I am proud to stand with hundreds of other Nebraska businesses in the Fair Minimum Wage Coalition who know that raising minimum wages is important to workers, businesses and the economy.

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Alma Cerretta is co-owner of the Mana Games Café in Lincoln’s historic Haymarket neighborhood and a member of the Nebraska Business for a Fair Minimum Wage.

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