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Small business feels impact of minimum wage increase

January 12, 2017 02:36 PM

The minimum hourly wage was increased by seventy cents at the start of the year.

People who support the increase say this helps local economy and increases the standard of living. But the wage hike is challenging for many mom and pop shops as owners attempt to survive. They say in the end, the pay hike will impact you.

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Salome Farraro/Small Business Owner: “I'd prefer if I didn't have to raise prices. I'd prefer not to, but you have no choice.”

Salome and Tony Farraro are feeling the impact of minimum wage increase, and so are their customers. They own a pizzeria in Dansville where they pay about half of their employees the new minimum wage, $9.70 an hour. This will continue to increase by 70 cents an hour each year through 2020. The Farraro's chose to give a raise to their higher paying employees as well, to keep wages fair. 

Tony Farraro/Small Business Owner: “We're looking at it if it slows down with the prices going up a little bit then people's hours will get cut. That's the big thing with the minimum wage going up. Are they really gonna make more? A lot of places are saying we'll just cut back in our help but if we stay busy we can't do it with less help.”

Bruce Popper advocates for a $15 minimum wage. He says rather than hurting small businesses, this actually helps boost the local economy.

Bruce Popper/VP 1199 SEIU Union, Fight for 15: “If you give money, higher compensation, to low wage workers they spend it. And a lot of that spending is on small business.”

Popper points out that four other states passed ballot measures that would significantly raise the minimum wage by 2020. 

Bruce Popper: “I think that people understand that making work pay and giving adequate compensation so people can support their families is good public policy, it's good for the neighborhoods and it's good for small business.”

As for the Farraros, they say the economic boost hasn't arrived yet.

Salome Farraro: “Right now we're just going to monitor what our sales are and if there is a dip in sales then we'll have no choice but to reduce some hours and cut back on staffing a little bit… but we hope not to.”

Credits

Nina Porciuncula

Copyright 2017 - WHEC-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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