Minimum wage workers get an increase

By Arnold Wyrick - bio | email

CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - Minimum wage workers in Illinois will soon have a little more change in their pockets.

The state's minimum wage will increase to $8.25. This is a dollar higher than the federal minimum wage.

And business owners will have to pay for the increase. "I would be in support of it a hundred percent, if a hundred percent of that money is going to my employee's pockets," said Laura Harbaugh owner of Harbaugh's Cafe in Carbondale.

But when minimum wage goes up, some small business owners say they can't absorb the full cost. So in turn they say they will end up raising prices.

Harbaugh says she may not be the only business owner who has to raise prices to make up for an increase in workers wages. "Our food suppliers are going to raise their prices. Everybody is going to raise their prices. So the only people it seems to me who get ahead are the people at the state and federal level."

Across town over at the Longbranch Coffee House, Owner Elaine Ramseyer feels a raise for her workers is long overdue.

"Having worked so many minimum wage jobs myself over the years, I'm thrilled," said Ramseyer.

"I think it should be $10.00 an hour honestly. I don't know how any survives on less than that."

Ramseyer says at this time she doesn't plan on passing along the added expense to her customers. "It seems we were a little ahead of the wave in terms of what we're offering in healthy food. And so as the concept has caught on our business has fired up. We're in the lucky position of growing, so we can absorb that increase."

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn is in favor of the minimum wage increase. His Republican opponent, Bill Brady has stated he will work to bring down the minimum wage, if he's elected in November.

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