Due to the new increased minimum wage law in San Francisco, a beloved bookstore and mainstay of the Mission District has been forced to close its doors for good.
The minimum wage for San Francisco workers, currently at $11.05 an hour, soars to $15 an hour in July 2018. The store’s projected labor costs, reported ABC7 News, impelled Borderlands Bookstore to write its final chapter.
Scott Cox, an actor, took a job at Borderlands Books because of his love for books and his great memories associated with the establishment. He admits that he didn’t take the job for the money. “I’ve been a longtime customer of the store,” Cox said. “I love the people, I love the books.” His work at Borderlands provided an opportunity for him to satiate his penchant for reading fantasy and science fiction stories.
Owner Alan Beatts expressed that other employees felt the same way as Scott. “Everyone who works here does this because they love books, they love stories, and they love being booksellers,” he explained. Unfortunately, Beatts had to post a sign on the storefront window announcing that the store is closing at the end of March.
Beatts explained on his website that the store has withstood rent increases and even the onslaught of online competition like Amazon.com. But the minimum wage increase was the straw that broke the camel‘s back:
In November, San Francisco voters overwhelmingly passed a measure that will increase the minimum wage within the city to $15 per hour by 2018. Although all of us at Borderlands support the concept of a living wage in principal and we believe that it’s possible that the new law will be good for San Francisco — Borderlands Books as it exists is not a financially viable business if subject to that minimum wage. Consequently we will be closing our doors no later than March 31st.
Borderlands, which profits only $3,000 per year, projects a loss of $25,000 when the minimum wage crests in 2018.
“You know, I voted for the measure as well, the minimum wage measure,” customer Edward Vallecillo lamented. “It’s not something that I thought would affect certain specific small businesses. I feel sad.”
“Borderlands Books is a phenomenal bookstore, I was just in it yesterday,” said San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener, a huge advocate for raising the minimum wage. “I hope they don’t close. It’s an amazing resource.”