Local Chamber Opposes Wage Hikes
In a statement that mirrored the Illinois Chamber of Commerce’s stand on the minimum wage hike approved by Illinois legislatures last week, the local Chamber of Commerce is also opposed to the wage hike.
Lauren Higginson, executive director of the Carmi Chamber of Commerce said, “The Carmi Chamber of Commerce disagrees with the notion that rural communities should be expected to raise wages at the same rate and speed as the city the size of Chicago. To put this in perspective, there are many small town businesses that will not be able to sustain this steep of an increase without cutting back it’s number of employees, which would increase unemployment or significantly raise prices, which would cause people to spend their money elsewhere.”
Higginson added, given the governor’s stated support, we recognize this bill will likely become law. However, we maintain our opinion that a tiered system which considers the regional markets and cost of living would be a better solution than applying the same increases statewide.”
The Carmi Chamber urges the governor and legislation to consider implementing subsequent legislation to mitage the negative impact the bill will have on rural communities, along with additional tax breaks for small businesses and other pro-business reforms.
In reality, the proposed legislation does offer tax breaks and incentives to small business to help offset the impact of paying higher wages….and it should be pointed out that $15 an hour does not go into effect until 2025.