Business owners and members of Raise Michigan react to minimum w - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Business owners and members of Raise Michigan react to minimum wage increase

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FLINT (WJRT) - (05/28/14) - Wages are on the way up for some Michigan workers.
     
Late Tuesday, Gov. Rick Snyder signed a bill that gradually increases the minimum wage over the next several years.
         
While some are happy to see the increase, others think it's going to be challenge to stay in business.

Although many minimum wage workers are happy to learn that they could earn extra cash, some business owners think an increase in the minimum wage is going to hurt small businesses.
     
The minimum wage will go from $7.40 to $9.25 an hour over several years.
     
Robert Kittel, the president of the Downtown Small Business Association, owns the Mad Hatter in Flint and he thinks the hike won't help Michigan's economy.

"I think that generally businesses have a certain amount of budget for payroll and when they have to pay more to each person, they'll probably have fewer employees," he said.

Nadine Cook, who owns Churchill's, already pays above the current minimum wage.
      
Even so, she thinks the increase will have a big impact.

"I think it's going to be very difficult for a lot of small businesses to pay minimum wage and to still be profitable," she said.

Members of the Raise Michigan Coalition were hoping to see the minimum wage increased to $10.10 an hour.
    
The group still turned their petition signatures into Lansing, Wednesday, even though the new law replaces the one that the ballot initiative would amend.

They collected more than 300,000 signatures and they want the state to review them.
     
Although they believe the voters should still have the opportunity to decide if the minimum wage should go up to $10.10, they're still happy to see an increase.

"Really excited that Raise Michigan's mission to get minimum wage on the ballot has reached all the way to the governor's mansion and that he is picking this up.  We are disappointed that he is signing legislation that is less than $10.10 an hour," said Danielle Atkinson, with Raise Michigan.

The first increase will come in September. Workers will be paid around $8.15 an hour.
     
The last increase to $9.25 will come in 2018.
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