Is your state one of them?
With Pres. Barack Obama urging governors not to wait on Congress to act on his proposal to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, many small business owners are bracing for increases. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 32 states and the District of Columbia were considering minimum wage bills as of Feb. 24, with 29 states calling for a hike.
At press time, Maryland’s governor was set to raise the minimum wage from the federal baseline of $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour. That worries NFIB member Larry Stottlemyer. The CEO of Adventure Park USA in New Market, Md., who owns his business with his wife, Angie, typically hires about 75 teenagers to work for minimum wage at his amusement park during the summer. If the minimum wage increases, staying profitable will be difficult, he says—and he may not be able to hire as much help in the peak season. “We’re just turning the corner on the slowdown in the economy,” he says. “It’s been horrible.”
On Jan. 1, Connecticut raised its minimum wage from $8.25 an hour to $8.70 an hour and will increase it to $9 an hour on Jan. 1, 2015. As a result, there has “absolutely been a lot of pushback,” says Andrew Markowski, NFIB’s Connecticut state director.
In Oregon, NFIB member Gary Peck and his wife recently closed one of six Hallmark stores they run in the state. One contributing factor was increasing labor costs. Oregon’s minimum wage increased to $9.10 an hour on Jan. 1, up from $8.95 an hour last year. “While our sales have been going down, the state has been raising wages,” Peck says.