Augusta-area small employers wary of proposed minimum wage increase | The Augusta Chronicle

23
Mar

Augusta-area small employers wary of proposed minimum wage increase | The Augusta Chronicle

Marco’s Pizza franchisee Woody Johnson operates three pizza chain stores across metro Augusta. Johnson and his business partner will add three more locations in the area by next summer, doubling the payroll to about 180 people, many of whom are part-timers paid the current minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.

“Eventually, it’s going to get where we can’t grow more stores and we’ll have a difficulty just growing the stores we’ve got with employees,” he said. There have been three minimum wage increases in the past seven years. “So at some point for us, it’s going to kill growth, kill jobs,” he said.

And the nearly $3 per hour increase in wages would affect more than those making the minimum. At Green Thumb West Nursery and Garden Center in Martinez, the starting wage for David Bokesch’s team of 11 workers is $8.50 per hour.

Bokesch acquiesced that $7.25 is not enough to support a family, but wondered if raising it to $10.10 would make much of a difference.

“It’s a tough question,” he said. “I think it’s fine for politicians, especially in election years, to say things, but they’re not down in the trenches with small businesses. They don’t know what it’s like.”

via Augusta-area small employers wary of proposed minimum wage increase | The Augusta Chronicle.

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