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Minimum wage hike leaves small business owners fearful
How would it feel to make a few extra dollars at work? President Obama suggested just that during his State of the Union Address Tuesday night.
News 5's Lauren Conley spoke with small business owners and employees today to see how this could affect both sides.
The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. Obama wants to raise it to $9.00 It's a cost that scares a lot of small business owners.
"It's just going to reflect because we'll have to raise our prices," said Allen's Superstore owner Georgene Allen.
Georgene Allen is among many small business owners who say raising the minimum wage won't do any good.
"It's going to hurt us I believe, financially," Allen said.
Butch Hogan, part owner of Pastime Lanes in Hastings agrees.
"If we had to pay $9 an hour we would have to increase what we sell," said Hogan.
We asked viewers on the News 5 Facebook page what you guys think. There's an overwhelming response against it.
Henry R says: "I have 3 small businesses, and with that kind of increase... I will have to close or raise prices."
Jennifer E agrees saying:" I think it would hurt. Small businesses would hire less and maybe even have to layoff some to compensate."
Some support the raise.
Like Terry C who says: "it seems a decent step in the right direction to me."
For some people, it's a matter of empathy.
James Kapustka has worked minimum wage jobs most of his life.
Now, he earns more.
"I believe it would help me, because it would help the economy overall," Kapustka said.
But, in a town where more and more businesses shut their doors this may be more than some owners can afford.
"Also, with Obamacare coming into effect, it's another thing we have to consider and it's really going to affect how we operate," Allen said.
"I foresee a lot of companies saying it's just not worth it anymore," said Allen's Superstore CFO Christine Guest.
President Obama says raising the minimum wage will help mitigate inflation adding, quote "it could mean the difference between groceries or the food bank; rent or eviction; scraping by or finally getting ahead." End quote.
Though, it seems for at least many small business owners around here, it might hurt.
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