Minimum wage hike worries businesses - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Minimum wage hike worries businesses

(NBC) - Starting today the federal minimum wage goes up 70 cents an hour from $6.55 to $7.25.  That not only will affect workers, it may impact the cost of many things you buy.

Lisa Richards and her family own an ice cream and burger shop. The shop is too small to be required to pay the 70 cents an hour more for minimum wage, but she expects an impact.

"So, you have a 14, 15, 16-year-old girl or young man that is walking in the door for their first time job. That is what their expectations are," said Richards. And higher wages affect more than payroll.

"It's all relative. Then unemployment goes up, then payroll taxes go up, then insurance goes up everything," said Richards.

For the owner of a pizza restaurant the worry is over raising prices in a recession. "We can't absorb that type of wage increase so we have to raise our menu prices.  The public is very resistant to that, and unfortunately we have to do that," said restaurant owner Rocky Keeley.

"You have to come to the conclusion of either reducing the number of hours they work, reducing the number of employees, or raising their prices to cover the additional costs," said McNeese State University Dean of Business, Dr. Mitchell Adrian.  

"Speaking from experience, no, I don't feel sympathy for the employers. The employees are what makes your business," waitress Kelly Whitman said.

More money in the pocket for workers, with customers possibly left with a bigger bill.

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