Advocates for raising the minimum wage say increases affect more than those at the very bottom of the wage scale, as employees just above the federal limits usually enjoy a resulting pay bump. But it’s exactly this kind of pressure on employers that worries advocates for area businesses.
Ron Clapper, chief executive officer of the Prince William Chamber of Commerce, said he’s concerned that a new increase would come at a time when area businesses, which have not yet fully recovered from the recession, are worried about possible federal budget cuts tied to the looming sequestration.
Clapper added that the 2007 law that resulted in the last minimum wage increase (which boosted the rate in three steps from $5.15 in 2007 to $7.25 in 2009) also included tax credits to help businesses cope with the extra expense.
“I’ve not heard anything about offsets or credits for businesses this time,” he added. “Without those credits and offsets, I’m not sure how those small and mid-sized businesses can absorb it.”
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