How the Raise the Wage Act could affect small businesses in The County

Published: Feb. 18, 2021 at 12:28 PM EST
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) - If enacted next month, the Raise the Wage Act would set in motion an incremental wage increase country-wide, resulting in a $15 minimum wage by 2025. The wage would meet cost of living standards in most of America, but for small business owners in the county, it would mean a change of operations. Troy Haney, owner of Haney’s Home and Garden, spoke about the effects on small businesses.

“Effectively in a company like ours I might have say ten full time employees, you’re effectively asking a company of our nature to sell another 3 or 4,000 dollars a year of product to be able to pay those additional wages out and just to break even, and that can be a struggle in a small community.”

Haney says that many businesses will have to automate to keep their prices standard, while Dale Shannon, owner of Shannon’s Homestyle Variety says that most small businesses will have to make the decision between raising costs to pay their employees, or cutting staff to stay competitive.

“Smaller businesses might seem insignificant, or they don’t have all the options or all the choices, but every dime that they invest is being invested in the county,” said Shannon.

Maine’s minimum wage is now just over 12 dollars an hour, higher than the federal standard. Haney believes that the $15 minimum wage in Maine is inevitable, and at least if it’s enacted federally, there’ll be a level playing field.

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