Small business owners sound off about minimum wage increase
CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, OH (WOIO) -
There's an ongoing debate about just how much raising the minimum wage will impact small businesses. We focused on one place here in Cleveland Heights to get some reaction to the president's proposal.
At Sweetie Fry on Lee Road in Cleveland Heights, the only thing on the menu is ice cream and specialty, French fries.
Owner Keith Logan opened the place 16 months ago. He has no problem with the president's plan to boost the minimum wage to $9 an hour.
"I think we can make it work. I don't think it's a dramatic change for our business," said Logan.
Logan has 12 employees in their 20's or younger all making the state minimum wage of $7.85 an hour.
He says a mandatory raise would increase his cost structure about 10%.
"It would affect us, but my guess is our customers would be willing to share some of that added cost. So in the end, I don't think it would affect us dramatically," said Logan.
Economics professor John Burke of John Carroll University thinks raising the minimum wage is a good thing.
"It's going to put more income in the pockets of low-income people, raise some of them up above the poverty level. Indeed, now they're going to be making $18 $19,000 and for a family of four with a couple of federal tax credits, they'd now be above the poverty line," said Burke.
While obviously there are many small business owners who say raising the minimum wage will force them to lay off employees or raise their prices, the owner of Sweetie Fry says he thinks this place will continue to thrive.