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      Minimum wage bill raises concerns for small businesses

      T his pay raise would mean a lot for many families, but also would mean big changes and possible headaches for local businesses.


      T

      he
      Michigan House of Representatives will look into raising the state's minimum wage, after a bill passed the Senate Thursday.


      T

      his pay raise would mean a lot for many families, but also would mean big changes and possible headaches for local businesses.


      R

      obert
      Keedy prides himself in offering competitive wages at his three restaurants in Petoskey.


      B

      ut over the last year

      ,

      he has been anticipating a statewide change.


      "I

      t has been a long time since there has been a minimum wage increase, so i'm not surprised that it's moved forward

      ," Keedy, Wine Guys Restaurant Group Co-Owner said.




      The

      bill that just passed would increase the minimum wage

      from for regular workers from $7.40 to $9.20 by the year 2017.


      F

      or tipped employees it would bump
      from $2.65 to $3.50 an hour.


      "I

      think a lot of our businesses would be concerned with the increase in minimum wage

      ," Paul Beachnau, Gaylord Chamber of Commerce Executive Director said.


      H

      igher wages means extra costs being absorbed by these small businesses.


      "I

      t

      '

      s very hard to make money when your that small and to continue to offer that employment,
      I just think our legislature needs to be very very careful," Beachnau said.


      T

      his would come at a time where small businesses are already adapting to recent boosts in property taxes and changes that come with the
      Affordable Care Act.


      "C

      ertainly those are important items

      ,

      but at the end of the day it seems like the business owner has to bear those costs

      ," Beachnau explained.


      K

      eedy and many other owners in town say they are already offering wages higher than the current state minimum.


      H

      owever

      ,

      if it were to go up

      ,

      businesses may have to make sacrifices to stay competitive.


      H

      ow much would this change cost consumers?


      "I

      don't know,

      " Keedy explained.



      "W

      e'd have to look at it, we either have to make less money or raise the prices

      ."

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