Despite the economic trauma that the pandemic and those state shutdown orders have caused across the country, Rhode Island has another surprise coming for small businesses in the Ocean State. Effective October 1, 2020, the state minimum wage will increase $1 per hour on the 1st of the month thanks to legislation signed by Governor Gina Raimondo back on March 10 – just one day AFTER she had issued an Executive Order 20-02 declaring a Disaster Emergency on March 9, 2020!!  Raimondo signed two bills on March 10 in the state office of the AFL-CIO. Those bills increased the minimum wage from $10.50/hour to $11.50 beginning October 1 and the minimum cash wage for tipped employees also by $1/hour from $6.61 to $7.61 per hour, but the maximum tip credit remained $3.89 per hour. Just 6 days thereafter, on March 16, this time in her state house office, Raimondo issued Executive Order 20-04, forbidding on premises dining for every restaurant in Rhode Island. Timing is everything isn’t it, Governor?