It’s an investment, just like any other investment a business or organization makes.

Women’s Place of South Niagara executive director Ruthann Brown compared offering employees “a living wage” to buying the latest computer equipment and software to ensure a business is as productive and efficient as possible.

“Businesses need to reflect, in the context of retaining qualified staff, in the context of the knowledge transfer when you lose staff, and in the context of providing the best services for people, we have to look at human resources as an investment in the work that we do,” Brown said.

Niagara Poverty Reduction Network announced Wednesday that both Women’s Place and Niagara Folk Arts Multicultural Centre are the region’s two newest employers to be registered as “certified living wage employers,” for paying wages of at least $17.57 an hour — the amount of income currently needed to cover the cost of living in the region.