Business owners reacting to minimum wage hike plan

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – A conference committee of both House and Senate lawmakers hammered-out a deal that would ultimately give Massachusetts the highest minimum wage in the country. But how are business owners responding to the news?

There are two schools of thought when it comes to small businesses and the minimum wage.

Some small business owners worry that being required to pay employees more would put more stress on already struggling businesses; possibly resulting in increased costs passed down to consumers.

“The fix for the system is something other than forcing us to pay more than we can. We would like to pay more if we didn’t have to pay so much into taxes,” said Stephanie Lilly, owner of Audubon Tree Service.

Others, however, say that employees who are paid more would likely reinvest more money into the business, and would be able to help the economy grow.

Ed Becdeach, owner of Casa del Sol in Northampton, said adjustments would have to be made, but it could be worth it.

“We’d have to raise my prices a little bit. People would be understanding because everyone is going to know this. I think it helps everybody in the end,” Becdeach said.

This compromise bill would raise the minimum wage from $8.00 per hour to $11.00 per hour by 2017.

The bill would raise the minimum wage by $1.00 every year beginning in January when the minimum wage would become $9 an hour.

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