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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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