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Small-business owner fears minimum wage increase

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John Porter said he fears the president's push to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour could mean he would have to lay off workers at Woodworkers' Source. (Source: CBS 5 News) John Porter said he fears the president's push to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour could mean he would have to lay off workers at Woodworkers' Source. (Source: CBS 5 News)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

With just about 30 employees, Woodworkers' Source is perhaps the definition of a small, family-run Arizona business.

"We've been around 35 years. We retail hardwood lumber, woodworking equipment," said manager John Porter.

However, Porter fears the president's push to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour could mean Woodworkers' Source may not be around for another three decades.

"A 50-percent increase in someone's pay just can't be absorbed right away," he said. 

Porter said the wage increase debate basically boils down to basic math. He said there is money set aside for payroll and then there is the number of employees. If the minimum wage increases, Porter said the budgets for payroll may stay the same. That could lead to layoffs.

"I (would have) to raise my prices, which would lose sales, and then I'd have to lay off people," he explained. 

Wednesday, President Obama made his pitch about raising the minimum wage to CBS 5 News anchor Catherine Anaya.

"You've just got to look at the evidence," said the president. 

"We've raised the minimum age in the past. You hear the same arguments (about how) this is going to kill jobs. And then it happens and it doesn't," he continued, pointing out 28 million workers would see wage increases, including about 500,000 in Arizona. 

"At a time when Arizona is still climbing out of the Great Recession, we feel that will be a bad move," said Glen Hamer, the chief executive officer and president of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce. 

Hamer points out there are other methods that could help those struggling with a minimum wage income.

"The Earned Income Tax credit is one method," said Hamer. He pointed out that some reports say the EIC equates to about a $2 per hour raise.

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