St. Petersburg bank hikes its minimum wage - FOX 13 News

St. Petersburg bank hikes its minimum wage

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St. Petersburg-based C1 Bank is only four and a half years old, but it is getting bigger.

"Nineteenth fastest growing company in Florida," CEO Trevor Burgess said. "The 18th largest bank in the state."

It's profitable enough to indulge an unusual consideration: "We felt like we had an obligation to really look at how we were paying our employees, and making sure we were sharing the wealth."

As a result, 27 of the bank's 217 employees will get big pay raises next week. The entry level wage will become $14 an hour, which works out to about $30,000 a year.

Burgess sees it as an investment in future growth, and a competitive advantage.

"We're going to be able to hire the very best people, retain the very best people and we're paying materially more than other banks are paying at the entry level...the smarter the people I have working for us, the better the outcomes are going to be for our clients."

Some of those receiving the raises make as little as $10.75 an hour, so their annual pay hike approaches $6,000 a year.

FOX 13 News was not allowed to speak to employees, but customers outside a C1 Bank branch on Beach Drive approved of the $14 an hour minimum wage.

"Somebody coming out of college or untrained, I think it's fair," Michael Graham said. "We are becoming a society of wealthy and not wealthy -- that concerns me."

Diane Sar-Angelotti said

"I think it's great that they're giving people the opportunity to earn more money because you know people are making less for doing the same jobs."

Burgess told FOX 13 News the raises are a business decision and not part of any broader social movement.

"It's interesting. The past 24 hours, I've been contacted by a number of business leaders that have been interested in what we've done and why we have done it."

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