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Local Impact of Minimum Wage Hike

Minimum Wage Local Impact

In a story from our media partner, Channel 44 News, a local business was in the spotlight concerning the minimum wage hike.

Several state and cities have already tackled the issue of raising minimum wage and now Illinois is next in line.

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker signed a bill that will raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2025.

“I just think having a broad everyone across the board 15 bucks an hour is crazy,” says Denton Weiss, Gottzz’s Bar and Grill Owner.

It’s a decision that was made official just one week ago.

“I’ve been nervous about it. Been a nervous wreck about it,” says Weiss.

For small business owners in the Tri-State, the decision to approve Senate Bill 1 is concerning.

“If I have to raise my wages either I’m going to have to cut down on employees which is going to be almost impossible because everything will be chaotic, people won’t get as good of service, so I would have to raise my prices and nobody wins,” says Weiss.

The wage will go from the current $8.25 an hour to $9.25 next January. From there, the rate would be raised to $10 an hour that July, then one dollar a year, every year, until 2025.

Something Weiss says can possibly pit a lot of small businesses out.

“I love all my employees you know I want to keep them all here, but business is business,” says Weiss. “If it gets to the point where I have to downsize to keep payroll up, it’s going to be a tough decision.”

An increase in pay that will be the first across the Midwest with both Indiana and Kentucky currently matching the federal rate of $7.25 per hour.

“I mean there’s only one of two things you can do. You can either get by with less people or raise the price of your product. And which will be better for the business? Who knows?,” says Weiss.

22 state currently have a $7.25 an hour minimum wage. California is at the highest with $12 per hour. 1.4 million workers across the state will get the raise, but studies show that increase could cost the state more than one billion dollars for state employees alone.