Harris said he was glad his employees were making more money, but was concerned about the problems his company could face competing with other dealers across the state.
“I'm anything to anyone who makes $ 15 an hour. What I am not asking is that Flagstaff be the only one to do this because it puts us at a competitive disadvantage. If the entire state was $ 15, that's a breeze, ”Harris said. “I'm going to be spending nearly $ 200,000 more on labor in 2021 for the same number of hours worked than my closest competitors, and that puts us at a competitive disadvantage. This is my main concern. "
Harris said this will mean some changes to the way they work, but it doesn't mean people will be laid off.
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You could put off hires when current employees leave to see if they can easily reallocate those duties, Harris said. They also need to find ways to reduce overtime and the hourly rates they charge for service will increase.
One thing Harris said won't happen: increase the cost of the vehicles they sell. Because they compete with dealerships in Northern Arizona and even across the state, they cannot simply increase the price of vehicles without running the risk of losing customers.
"I can't just raise the cost of the new Silverado and expect to sell this Silverado because people will be willing to go to the Phoenix area and buy there," said Harris. "The fact that you shop locally, you don't pay more than if you went to Phoenix or something, because only from an economic point of view do we have to stay competitive."