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The Fort St. John Chamber of Commerce  is working to prepare members for the announced increase to B.C.’s minimum wage.

The increase was not a huge surprise, but businesses will have to be prepared for it, says Chamber President Andrew Tylosky.

Premier Christy Clark made the increase announcement Wednesday. The increases will occur in three stages. The first increase will occur on May 1, raising the minimum wage from $8 to $8.75.

The second increase to $9.50 will occur on Nov. 1 and the final increase to $10.25 will occur on May 1, 2012.

Liquor servers will also receive an increase in their minimum wage to $9 by May 1, 2012.

Tylosky says that although most businesses in the Fort St. John area do not pay minimum wage, the increase may affect employers currently paying more than minimum wage.

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Tylosky says the Chamber would have liked to have seen the increase phased in over a longer period of time, but still does not believe many businesses in the area will be dramatically affected by the increase.

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