Five States Weighing Minimum Wage Laws

Over the past several months, the idea of increasing the minimum wage has garnered headlines nationwide, and some states are less than a week away from putting it to a vote. That change might have a major impact on small business owners in those states, and entrepreneurs still seem to be somewhat torn about the decision.

Alaska, Arkansas, Illinois, Nebraska, and South Dakota are all about to let residents vote on ballot referendums that would raise the minimum wage within their borders, according to a report from the Associated Press. Within those states, that number ranges from anywhere between $6.25 and $8.25 per hour. If the measures pass next week, they would join the 10 states who have already taken such steps, in addition to the city of Seattle, and Washington, D.C., while Chicago is considering its own municipal minimum of $13.

Of course, this kind of thing might put some small business owners on edge, because it will necessarily lead to them having to pay more to their minimum-wage employees, the report said. In Illinois, for example, the minimum wage might be raised to $10 per hour from its current $8.25, an increase of 5.5 percent. Owners there say that they may have to raise prices or lay people off if these changes go into effect. In fact, recent polls suggest that nearly 1 in 3 such companies would pass the increases along to their customers, and 1 in 8 would cut back on workers.

On the other hand
But at the same time, it’s important to note that many owners don’t actually feel this way and aren’t all that concerned with minimum wages rising because they already pay their workers more than that amount, and they also see the economic benefit of such a change that would be more widespread than the concern of just a few small business owners.

“That’s not going to break my bank,” Rick Poore, owner of the Lincoln, Nebraska, screen printing shop Shirts101, told the newspaper. “[Workers] can’t buy [products] if they don’t have the dough.”

Owners who want to streamline their companies’ bottom lines as these laws become more common may want to consider the benefits of cutting costs. For instance, when it comes to small business insurance coverage, including policies for liability insurance, shopping around more affordable coverage could end up saving them thousands of dollars annually.