Local Businesses Discuss Impact Of Higher Minimum Wage - NBC4: Columbus, Ohio News, Weather, and Sports (WCMH-TV)

Local Businesses Discuss Impact Of Higher Minimum Wage

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It's estimated that 5 percent of all U.S. workers only make the minimum wage, but if the President has his way, that pay will be changing.

President Barack Obama is proposing raising the minimum wage to $9 per hour, from the national wage of $7.25 per hour, and the wage of $7.85 per hour in Ohio.

Everyone wants more money, but can small businesses afford it?

The top republicans are already denouncing the idea.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Cincinnati) said the change will mean fewer jobs.

For workers living on minimum wage, it's a delicate balance, and when one side of the equation is adjusted, the whole formula changes.

"All food's going to go up. All services are going to go up because the business can't take that hit," said Nick Manus, fourth generation owner of Phillip's Original Coney Island on West Broad Street.

"The idea of everybody making a wage they can live off of is great, and I wouldn't deny anybody that at all, but raising the minimum wage, I don't believe accomplishes much of anything besides increasing the cost of everything," Manus said.

Another $1.15 per hour may not sound like much, but that's another $46 per week per employee.

For a company with about 20 employees, like Manus', that's another $920 per week, $3,680 per month, and $44,160 per year.

Trent Smith runs the Franklinton Board of Trade, and deals with the area's small businesses daily.

He said there are large companies that might be able to afford the change, but not across West Broad Street.

"I think one of the interesting things that President also said last night was it's not fair for families to live in poverty when CEOs salaries are sky rocketing, and that's true. That is a crying shame, but we're not talking about companies in Franklinton with large CEO salaries. We're talking about local businesses, family-owned, who are paying employees a fair wage and providing a good working environment for employees," Smith said.

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