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New York Minimum Wage Increase
Written By: Joe Melillo
Governor Cuomo made it clear he wants things wants to see change in New York during his State of the State address Wednesday.
Southern Tier (WENY) - Governor Cuomo made it clear he wants things wants to see change in New York during his State of the State address Wednesday. Issues like gun control are at the top of the list, but a minimum wage increase from $7.25 to $8.75 an hour was also put on the table. There are two theory's behind a minimum wage increase. One side believes it's good for the economy because it can increase the average living wage for hourly workers. Others think businesses would suffer, and some of those workers could be laid off.
Brendan Holmes has been running his restaurant Holmes Plate in Corning since 2007. He's already seen one minimum wage increase, but he says he might need to re-evaluate how he runs his business if it goes up to $8.75.
“What's concerning about this increase it would be upwards to $1.50 to $1.60 increase and that's whats going to hurt the small business owner,” says Holmes.
Businesses aren't the only ones that may be hurt. President of Southern Tier Economic Development Kevin Keely believes adding to the minimum wage could end up affecting not just individual workers but families too.
“I see those folks and think boy if we bump this minimum wage and they become a casualty of it, what a tragedy,” says Keeley. “It's a lot more bad news than just one person job it becomes a whole family that’s impacted.”
Kevin says when you increase the minimum wage, even though more people get more money, the cost has to be transferred somewhere. That means small businesses have to either increase prices or cut staff to cover the cost of the increase.
“We haven't raised our prices in five years so its something we may have to consider but it would be a last resort,” says Holmes. “It wouldn't be like 'ohh well new york state is raising the minimum wage therefore I 'm going to raise the price', I don't believe there should be a penalty on the consumer.”
Right now, The increase to $8.75 an hour is just an idea. Governor Cuomo will have to work with party leaders in the assembly and state senate for the legislation to reach his desk.