Small Business Roundtable

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COLUMBIA - Small business owners in Columbia are meeting Friday morning to discuss how November election results will affect them as they start 2019. 

The Columbia Chamber of Commerce hosts "Small Business Roundtables" the first Friday of every month, giving companies the opportunity to collaborate with each other to overcome obstacles. 

Friday's meeting will cover how recent election results may affect small businesses in mid-Missouri. 

"I think the top two that you'll see come up are transportation, since Proposition D failed, and then maybe minimum wage," Chamber President Matt McCormick said. 

Proposition D was a measure on the November 6 ballot that aimed to raise money for fixing roads and 'alleviating bottleneck traffic' by raising Missouri's gas tax

The measure failed with just over 53 percent of voters voting 'NO'. 

"It all depends on the transportation," McCormick said. "Getting customers to your place, getting vendors to your place, maybe you getting out to see your customers."

McCormick is also hosting MoDOT Director Patrick McKenna next week to go over plans for maintaining roads in 2019 and discuss how the department intersects with small businesses.

A measure which did pass this November, Proposition B, also looks to have a significant impact on small businesses in Columbia. 

Prop B will raise Missouri's minimum wage to $8.60 next year, and then continue to increase gradually all the way until 2023 when it will be 12 dollars. 

"It was important to me as a business owner, if I was going to pay employees, that they were being compensated for what their worth," Amanda Quick said.

Quick, 33, owns The Hatchery, a rental workspace and child care facility in South Columbia. Quick's business has been open since July of 2017 and she enjoys going to these roundtables to learn more as a young business owner. 

"I may just have my one-track mind of all I know, because I've never heard the other side," Quick said. "It shines the light on both sides of any kind of topic."

Quick said she pays her employees above minimum wage now but realizes not everyone can so it's important to have these meetings to discuss solutions.

"It's interesting how each business will have to look at it and look at if they have to cut an employee in order to pay the others or if they give them more job duties," Quick said.

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