Local Business Owners Say Raising Minimum Wage Will Lead To Their Demise

Expert: Democrats, Republicans Likely Won't Play Nice On This Issue In Albany

GARDEN CITY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – A debate is now being waged over the idea of raising the minimum wage. Advocates for the poor say it’s desperately needed, but some small business owners believe doing so could put them under.

Diana Williams recently opened a restaurant in Williston Park — and now already fears her menu prices will have to go up. She said she may have to layoff employees, even serve up smaller portions. Monthly overhead is growing and so are gas prices along her 30-mile commute.

“Raising the minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.50, would really put a damper on our business,” Williams told CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan on Tuesday.

Matthew Dennin said he commutes to his minimum wage job on bicycle, adding people who work full-time should not be poor.

“I could get off food stamps. My mom helps me out with money. She is getting older, and I could be more independent,” Dennin said.

A million or so New Yorkers make $7.25 an hour. Albany Democrats want that increased to $8.50 and are poised to push through a 17-percent hike, translating to about $17,000 a year.

Mitchell Golub owns delivery vans. He predicted that minimum wage increases would throw a huge roadblock in the path of local economic recovery.

“What are we supposed to do? Go out of business? Gas goes up, food costs go up,” Golub said.

There’s insurance for workers, Social Security, taxes and workers comp costs to be paid. McLogan asked Hofstra University expert Lawrence Levy about the chances for a minimum wage hike.

“For all the talk in Albany about Republicans and Democrats working together, this is an issue that is most certainly going to keep them apart. If somehow you get the bill through the Republican Senate, then it’s up to Andrew Cuomo,” Levy said.

And will the governor choose to back his party — or go with the Republicans to burnish his conservative credentials? McLogan asked, but he didn’t answer.

In the past, Gov. Cuomo has said he favors a minimum wage hike. On Tuesday night a spokesman told McLogan the governor is still reviewing this bill’s specifics.

What do you think Albany should decide? Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below …

  • California Jobs

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  • WDDB


    It is NEVER true or accurate, NEVER.

  • Kathy

    My question is: to those who view business as evil: what’s your plans when the all the jobs (and taxes) go away? You’re a State, so you can’t print your own money or run deficits. So even if you make everyone government workers, you can’t pay them. Well, actually I hope NY raises the min wage to $20, because then the job flight will be really obvious (well, hopefully obvious – I sense that certain people responding here will still feel that if they just raised taxes and the min wage some more, things would turn around). I wish you all luck on that – I spent time behind the Iron Curtain, and saw what didn’t work.

    • WDDB

      Oh, you think the corrupt Russian OLIGARCHY with its obscene billionaires is BETTER for Russians??

      Of course, NOW there are many more Eastern European women working as prostitutes, call-girls, and strippers, just to survive. THAT is Capitalism. Just ask DSK about the sex parties he attended/attends regularly.

  • Ludwig Von Mises

    Minimum wage hikes just price low skilled workers out of the market. It just means that it is harder for people just getting started to gain skills by working. Just remember, no one is forcing people to work at a job that only pays minimum wage. It ends up causing high teen unemployment and greater dependency on the government safety net.

  • KN

    If $8.50 is so good then $85.00/hr would be 10x better. That’s the ticket.

  • wesseid

    If people would put their focus where it belongs — on a government that puts huge debt onto its citizens, prints money and borrows money it doesn’t have, and creates inflation and reduces the purchasing power of the dollar, and stifles cheap energy creation — the topic of minimum wage wouldn’t even matter.

  • jerseyjoey

    Oh well, maybe you piano playing Hands on so called owner types might have to actually do some real work for once, after all its your future your business and outside labor is called THE COST OF DOING BUSINESS, so get over it or your alternative is to WORK FOR SOMEONE ELSE AS A ASSOCIATE, LMAO HAHAHA you small business owners do know that your labor and the wage you pay are not the problem but your over taxing state and fed Gov. is along with Wal-Mart and other huge stores that pay more in revenue then you ants do.

    • Kay

      How clever you are. Unfortunately raising the minimum wage puts people OUT OF WORK, raises the cost of goods and services and does nothing for the economy. The minimum wage in California keeps going up and we have one of the highest unemployment rates (and one of the biggest spending deficits) in the Country.

      So if you DON’T want people working for a living, by all means raise the minimum wage.

    • DaveP

      I own a small business with 12 employees. In illinois minimum wage is $8.25 an hour. The lesser workers (I’ll call them jerseyjoey’s from now on) all got let go when I was forced to pay them what they didn’t deserve. The good employees just got more hours to work and make more money.
      I worked 2 years starting this business at no salary, lived off my savings, then i paid myself $12k a year for 2 years. Now I’m able to pay myself nicely and have cut back to 70 hours a week from 84.. I could shut down collect my receivables over time and puke out my inventory for a couple hundred thousand dollars.thousand dollars and create 12 more unemployed people. They would find jobs because they are good workers. A minimum wage only makes it so the uneducated and lazy workers will never be able to hold down a job. Raise the minimum wage but as a concession end all the welfare 7 unemployment benefits slowly over time. Like a week.

  • Sweatshop Labor Is A Crime Against Humanity

    What do businesses expect people to work for 50 cents an hour? Oh wait they’ll just outsource jobs overseas like Apple did where the oldest worker at a Chinese plant is 16, they sleep there, are overworked and have had clusters of suicides after workers jumped to their deaths at an IPAD factory as reported on ABC news.

  • Kleetis Slywage

    It’s always possible that the business owners are taking a larger cut of the profits than the business can support and that if they are a little less generous to themselves they may be able to afford to pay their employees a whopping $8.50 per hour.

  • Thompson Company

    it should take both side… not just on one side of it… they must give what they should.. in the end both are working for success.. so this should mean both should benefit equal to what has given…

  • Lord Anubis

    i say faq them…if they cant take the heat stay out of the kitchen.if it wasnt for us faqinf workers you small business owners would not have a business to begin with.i also say severely penalize the businesses that hire people off the books and also those that hire illegals.let them come here the right way at pay taxes like the law abiding naturalized citizens of this country.and send every illegal man,woman and child back so we dont have to deal with them either.

  • William

    Raise the minimum wage and go to war against businesses that pay thier workers off the books.

  • Tyson Augustus Poulos

    I look at both sides of an issue before I tend to take a side and/or position. While a minimum wage hike is certainly needed desperately by our states working poor in these times of rapid inflation, record high income disparities and financial unceratinity/crisis, this bill would also hurt small family owned (i.e., mom & pop shops) businesses whom are “almost” equally struggling to stay in business and get by. Conversely, while small business may be able to legitimately claim being hurt by such a bill in some instances there is no doubt that the big business corpoartions (e.g., Mcdonalds, Wendys, Burger King, Walmart, etc.) who are paying their employees the minimum and making sky high profits year after year could easily afford to pay their employees the extra dollar. That being said, such a move would likely still hurt the same class of people when greedy busineses like Mcdonalds and Walmart pass their increased labor expense back on to their consumers whom are usually poor. I think that the bill should mandate a minimum wage for employees of the large corporations and allow an exemption for small businesses struggling to get by. Either way, I signed the petition to rase the wage because many people I care about are struggling to get by working at these minimum wage jobs and unfortunatly almost everybody approaches theese situations thinking only about how it will affect them and their families personally.END OF COMMENT. I humbly ask you to please sign my petition to Governor Cuomo and the Legislature in support of a “Second Chance Act” which would seal the felony convictio(n) for civil purposes, upon application, of REFORMED “first time non-violent” felony offenders whom have gone at least 7 years without any subsequent felony convictions so as to end the current state sponsered LEGAL DISCRIMINATION hundreds of thousands of Real New Yorkers face every single day in nearly every sector of their lives (e.g., please imagine being LEGALLY DISCRIMINATED AGAINST every single time that you apply to get a decent job to feed your family and/or every single time you try to get a halfway decent/affordable apartment to live in because of some past mistake that you payed for time and time again that didnt even hurt anyone). In a civilized society that “claims” to base their criminal justice system on “CORRECTIONS” , how much sense does it make to deny folks who deserve it a second chance at being first class citizens? If you are reading this I humbly/desperately pray that you sign my petition for a “Second Chance Act” @ http://signon.org/sign/governor-cuomo-please . Every signature counts and I need at least 1,000! Thanks for reading this.

    • dcgirl

      “big business corporations” are many times, if not for the most part, franchises owned by a small LLC, ergo your local Wendy’s may, in fact, be a small business unto itself.

  • go after the cash

    Outrageous! Business owners selfishly complaining that paying an employee $340 per week for a 40 hour week will lead to the demise of that business. How selfish, pathetic and transparent. How about the government auditing all the cash businesses to determine how a business owner can claim a 30k income a year and manage to live in an expensive home and drive expensive cars. The government dropped the ball on this one. Cash businesses are what’s destroying the economy.
    Taxes aren’t too high, just not enough people paying them.

    • jj

      Just because the government increases the minimum wage doesn’t mean it’s actually worth paying some people that much. Sorry, but some people’s labor just isn’t worth paying $8.50 an hour for. So, they’ll be out of a job. A higher minimum wage just increases unemployment.

    • gedpro

      try running a business for a year and I’ll bet you change your tune. NY business work 60-70 hrs week and years between vacations. let’s see wages, worker comp matching SS and Medicare, unemployment tax, insurance, employee theft lost customers because of employee mistakes. WOW it really is easy running a business and my lowest paid employee gets $12.50hr

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