Business owners to gather in support of raising minimum wage

8 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago Wednesday, May 02 2018 May 2, 2018 Wednesday, May 02, 2018 1:34:00 AM CDT May 02, 2018 in News
By: Eric Graves, KOMU 8 Reporter
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JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri business leaders are trying to raise minimum wage in Missouri.

A press conference is scheduled in Jefferson City Wednesday morning to turn in signatures in support of a ballot initiative to increase Missouri's minimum wage.

The group presenting the signatures is called Raise Up Missouri, and has been working with another company called Missouri Business for a Fair Minimum Wage. 

These two companies have been gathering signatures and support from Missouri businesses for months.

Raise Up Missouri wants minimum wage to increase by 85 cents a year until it reaches $12 in 2023.

Andrew Hutchinson, the Columbia representative for Missouri Business for a Fair Minimum Wage, sees the positives to this plan.

“When the minimum wage is raised, what that does is, it puts more money in the local economy, the average worker has more money to spend in the local economy,” Hutchinson said.

Hutchinson has been all over Missouri to gather signatures and support for raising the minimum wage.

"What a lot of business owners have found when they raise the wage is that employees stay longer and they have better relationships with the customers when they come in,” Hutchinson said.

The group is expecting some kickback to this ballot initiative.

"I think a lot of the opposition message is that it's going to be bad for business," Hutchinson said.

Peter Mueser, a professor of economics at the University of Missouri, said there are several positives and negatives with raising minimum wage.

Mueser said the positives would be seen in the people getting the increased pay. But he added that studies have shown increasing minimum wage would make low wage workers more expensive and could increase the amount of certain products at places that employ low wage workers.

On top of this, Mueser said there would probably be fewer low wage jobs available because employers would not have enough money to employ as many people as before.

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