Some Columbia businesses not keen on minimum wage hike - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Some Columbia businesses not keen on minimum wage hike

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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Higher wages are on the way for those making the minimum. On July 24, minimum wage is going up by seventy cents to $7.25 an hour.

Even though it's not even a buck, in a 40-hour week that adds up to 28 more dollars.
   
An almost $30 raise  for all employees is giving some businesses a headache.

Waiting for ice cream on a hot summer day. Customers come to Rosewood Dairy Bar for a number of reasons. The workers like to think it's because of the low prices, and that's something they don't want to change, even if they have to pay their employees more.
    
Instead of taking from the customer, when minimum wage increases they say they will be forced to take from the employee.

"The only thing we can control is labor, so we're going to have to cut the labor costs down, decrease the number of hours each employee works," says manager Pete Wysocki.

Wysocki says about 90 percent of his employees make minimum wage, like Carol Knight, who says she is already planning to cut back her hours when school starts back.

"It will be nice to have it kind of balance out some, with the higher paycheck, since I'll be working less hours," she says.

But not all employees agree.

"I have to find another job, I can't live where I'm at and work here if my hours are being cut, try to find something on the side to do or maybe just get another full time job," says Talmadge Joel.

Joel has been working at the Rosewood Dairy Bar for six years, and it's his livelihood.

"It's hard though, you got to tighten up your belt, you got to cut some stuff out, can't go to certain places, you want to go where you normally would have gone," he said.

Some argue the increase is disproportionately hard on small businesses.

"Like a McDonald's, Burger King or Taco Bell, they have unlimited resources, they can afford to increase the wage," said Wysocki.

And Pete says everyone is going to have to absorb the cost.

"Even though it seems like they are going to have more money to spend, the market is going to go up with what they have to pay people," he said.

A couple of small businesses said labor is going to be their number one cutback, but some say they can't even afford to cut that.
    
At Rockaway's, for example, the manager said he can't cut people, and he doesn't want to increase the prices for fear business will drop. He says he's just stuck between a rock and a hard place.

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