Potential Increase in Minimum Wage Could Hurt Local Businesses

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COLUMBIA - President Obama announced Wednesday he is pushing for an increase in the federal minimum wage, calling this potential increase a good step for families and the economy.

President Obama is supporting the Demorcats' proposal to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour in hopes of boosting the economy.

"And that's why it's well past the time to raise a minimum wage that, in real terms right now, is below where it was when Harry Truman was in office," Obama said.

The Missouri Department of Labor recently announced it will raise the state's minmum wage fifteen cents to $7.50 per hour which is taking place on January 1, 2014.

But some local business owners in Columbia are not happy about the President's push for an increased minimum wage of $10.10. Elly Bethune, owner of Elly's Couture, said this increase would only hurt small businesses.

"The raise to $7.50 an hour won't put a huge dent in everything and wouldn't affect us too much," Bethune said. "But if it did increase to the 10 dollars an hour, I would definitely have to decrease a lot of numbers on my staff and it is just a lot for a small business to handle."

Erin Wagoner, manager of Swank Boutique in downtown Columbia, said this potential minimum wage increase would affect mainly small businesses and would force costs to increase potentially hurting their business.

But Colleen Blake, manager of Absolute Vintage said the potential hike would be great because it is more of a living wage and more manageable.

Obama reiterated he will continue to fight for this increase.

"I'm going to keep pushing until we get a higher minimum wage for hardworking Americans across the entire country," Obama said.

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