Minimum wage increase affects local business owners


CARMI, Ill. (WEHT) – Abby Weiss and her husband took ownership of Gottzz’s back in 2015 and had big plans for the American diner until a new law was passed last year to increase the minimum wage.

“When we first started hearing about the new law I mean we kind of were in a panic a little bit because we first thought it was going to jump to 15 dollars immediately.”

According to the minimum wage law, Illinois workers will see an increase to $10 an hour by July first this year.

By 2025 it will reach $15 per hour.

For bigger cities like Chicago, the wage increase seems reasonable, but for smaller cities in downstate Illinois, Weiss says it’s a little much.

“We have friends that have even smaller businesses than us and I mean that’s a lot to pay your employees. In a little town like Carmi, 15 dollars is a lot for each employee so we don’t love the idea of it but I want everyone to have a living wage.”

We asked Weiss what they plan to do once the minimum wage hits the $15 limit.

“Right now, it hasn’t really affected us but yes it will affect us and we will eventually have to raise some of our prices. I mean, I think everybody in Illinois will have to do that whether they’re a big business or a small business.”

Weiss also projected some businesses would have to let employees go or even close up shop.

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(This story was originally published on January 2, 2020)

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