Local ice cream shop says minimum wage hike could freeze busines - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Local ice cream shop says minimum wage hike could freeze business

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BAY CITY (WJRT) - (05/27/14) - The state's minimum wage is going up. Gov. Rick Snyder signed a new law into the books, boosting the rate from $7.40 an hour to $9.25 an hour.

He says doing so will help hard-working residents without hindering the state's improving economy and long-term success.

This comes after both chambers of the Legislature swiftly passed the legislation shortly before 6 p.m. Tuesday.

The raise is a difference of $1.85 an hour and will happen in phases until it's complete in the year 2018.

The new law, which is tied to inflation, also includes a raise for tipped employees from $2.65 an hour to $3.50.

The compromise was struck just one day before a committee was set to turn in petition signatures for an even higher minimum wage hike, but now, that $10.10 an hour ballot initiative will not be moving forward.

The minimum wage hike has local businesses buzzing about what it will mean for them and the community. Some say it won't do anything good for their bottom line.

For teens cashing in on a summer job, scooping ice cream is a staple. But Jerry Crete - who owns the Shamrock Dairy Bar - says Michigan's minimum wage hike could put a freeze on business.

"I don't know that I can raise prices enough to offset that," he said. "I'll have to raise prices and probably cut some staffing, and if that doesn't work, I'll close it."

He almost exclusively hires teens needing their first job for the ice cream part of his business. You'll find Crete's dairy bar inside his main money maker - Ideal Party Store in Bay City.

"In my store I don't have anybody that makes minimum wage, minimum wage really should be a training wage or a starting point for people," he said. "It really is never meant to be a wage to support a family on."

He feels like there's a difference between a teen's summer job and someone working to support a family.

"It's going to hurt businesses in the long run, the market needs to dictate wages," Crete said.

For students who only have minimum wage job options, they say the hike could be beneficial.

"If a student can work 40 hours per week, that's going to make a lot of change, it's going to help us to do more," said SVSU freshman Khandaker Farhan Labib.
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