Lynchburg Businesses Concerned Over Raising the Minimum Wage - abc27 WHTM

Lynchburg Businesses Concerned Over Raising the Minimum Wage


Lynchburg, VA - Some small business owners in Lynchburg say they are worried about President Obama's proposed hike to the federal minimum wage. 

For small business owners like Jenny Woolett, a few extra dollars per person would mean a whole lot less in the bank.

"You're going to have a lot of small businesses that end up going out of business" said Woollett.

Woollett and her husband Tim own a surveillance camera company in Lynchburg. They have a staff of six full time employees; none of whom make minimum wage.  In fact, they all make far more.

Woollett is worried about the precedent a potential $10.10 hourly minimum wage would set among her employees.

"Should the minimum wage increase that gap's going to close and their expectations are going to be higher as well. There's no doubt that the ripple effects would be extremely excruciating on the small business owner" she said.

She's concerned about other effects, like increasing product prices and cutting services.

"I'm going to have to have one person go out to a service call as opposed to two" said Woollett.

Supporters of raising the minimum wage say taking it to more than $10 an hour would drastically improve the lives of hard working Americans.

"I think it's a much better idea. I don't see how anybody can afford to live off minimum wage at $7.25 an hour" said Edythe Boitnett.

Boitnett works in Martinsville and sees the city's economy continue to struggle. She said more money in people's pockets would mean more money pumped into local businesses.

"I think they would spend more if they had more to spend, and it would get people off of government assistance" said Boitnett.

And the American public seems to agree. In a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll on raising the minimum wage, 2/3 of Americans say they support the idea.

The President's proposal would have to receive approval from Congress before becoming law. That seems unlikely though; given a majority of congressional Republicans do not support raising the minimum wage.

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