Jaxson's Ice Cream Parlour Gets Shout-Out From President Obama After Minimum Wage Raise

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    NEWSLETTERS

    It isn't just spoons to mouths being lifted at Jaxson's Ice Cream Parlour and Restaurant. The minimum wage at the local favorite in Dania Beach recently saw a boost too. NBC 6's Gilma Avalos reports. (Published Wednesday, Mar 5, 2014)

    It isn't just spoons to mouths being lifted at Jaxson's Ice Cream Parlour and Restaurant. The minimum wage at the local favorite in Dania Beach recently saw a boost too.

    "We felt that by changing the minimum wage to $10.10 we would really make a difference in their lives," co-owner Linda Zakheim says.

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    About 100 Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport employees showed up at Fort Lauderdale Welcome Park to protest low wages and to form a union. (Published Saturday, Oct 5, 2013)

    Her father Monroe Udell opened up the restaurant 58 years ago. The joint decision came following President Barack Obama's State of the Union address. Obama, a champion for increasing the federal minimum wage to $10.10, encouraged business leaders to do their part.

    "We decided that we could and we knew that we should. It was the right thing to do," said General Manager Jerry Smith.

    He says this is not a political move – just the right one. And Wednesday, praise in the form of a shout-out came from the POTUS himself.

    "Last week, I read about Jaxson’s, it’s an ice cream parlor in Florida," the president said to an audience in New Britain, Connecticut.

    "They just announced they would lift workers’ wages to at least $10.10 an hour, without cutting back on hiring," President Obama continued.

    Meantime, the calls came flooding into Dania Beach.

    "Customers were calling and saying are you the Jaxson's that President Obama's talking about?" Zakheim recounted.

    Employee Benjamin Meltzer, who balances working as a cook and attending school full time, said the pay raise is “a huge relief.”

    "It helps me immensely with my bills, my car payment, the whole nine yards," Meltzer said.

    A new Congressional Budget Office report found that increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 would eliminate about 500,000 jobs but lift 900,000 people out of poverty. Those who oppose the increase believe it would affect job creation and burden business owners already struggling to recover from the recession.

    "It may not be the right thing for everyone but I think it is the right thing for us and maybe other people will follow in our footsteps," Zakheim said.