Contrary to the concerns raised by some of the guests and callers that we had on Saturday's show, an overwhelming majority of respondents - 88 percent actually - voted in favor of the Metro Council decision to raise the wage to $9.00 an hour by July 2017 in our recent poll.
We are not unsympathetic to the concerns of some small businessmen, how the increases of payroll make things a bit tougher to remain viable. That said: come on, folks. 50 cents in July 2015, another 50 cents in July 2016 and 75 cents more for 2017. For a full time employee, that is another $20.00 per week before taxes. Even with multiple employees, that is hardly a devastating ravage to one's bottom line. Will the price of some goods and services go up? Possibly. However marginal, but possibly.
Does such a price difference make one uncompetitive? It depends upon the industry that relies upon minimum wage. For example, Louisville's fast food and other types of restaurants will not be leaving the city en masse fleeing for the $7.25 that will still be paid in Oldham, Trimble or Spencer counties. The primary industry that might be affected would be low-skilled light industrial labor, however, the nature of the compromise and the gradual year-to-year increases should ease any concerns of small businessperson pain.
For all of the protestations of financial and commercial ruin, it is much ado about nothing. However, that extra $80-$100 per month can make sure a utility stays on, the rent can be paid or a co-pay can be made.