Minimum Wage Raised in Portland
Tuesday night City council members in Portland met and decided to raise the minimum wage from $7.50 an hour to $10.19 and hour starting January 1, 2016.
While many in the working class are rejoicing over the raise, many employers and small business owners are not in favor of this decision.
Owner of Dobra Tea Ray Marcott says he'll have to raise prices to make up for the loss.
“I think we probably would have had to discontinue business if this had happened four and a half years ago,” Marcott said. "There's a certain profit margin that we go by and we sort of know what it needs to be so yeah, I mean, I think that would be the only result.”
And some business owners have even moved their business’ to other towns to avoid the hike.
However many employees like Rianna Tuttle are happy with the change. “40 hours a week, at $7.50, is not cutting it for anybody,” Tuttle said. In about six months, she'll be making more than $10 an hour. "I can save. I might be able to get a car," Tuttle said.
Portland’s Mayor Michael Brennan was quoted by the paper as saying, "I think this is a strong statement to say that as a community, we want to make sure that if people work here, they have the opportunity to live here and to have a social life here.”
I’m not sure what this will mean for our local economy here in Portland, or whether those saying it will be the downfall of small business are correct.
What I do know is that if a business can’t afford to pay their workers a wage large enough to live on, then that business is not a success. Because at the end of the day, it’s the hard work and dedication of the people you employ that allows you to be in business.