Tallahassee, FL - June 1, 2011 --
Hundreds of thousands of people will see a slight bump in their paychecks starting today.
Greg Cohen, a real-life candy man and founder of Lofty Pursuits, supports the wage increase for his employees.
Most of Cohen's 12 employees make the minimum wage, and now they're getting a state-required raise, from $7.25 to $7.31 per hour.
"We have to provide a situation where people can afford to go to college, where people can afford to get educated, where we invest in our future, and this is just another issue of the business community worrying about the profits today and forgetting the profits tomorrow," he said.
Jose Gonzalez with Associated Industries of Florida calls a higher minimum wage a drain on the economy.
"It's like a balloon," he said. "If you squeeze one end, it'll pop on the other, and so, of course, our members are looking at an increase, and any time there's an increase, there is a potential for expenses or spending to not go into certain areas."
The minimum wage raise is mandated under a 2004 voter-approved amendment that requires an increase every time the cost of living goes up.
The minimum wage for workers like waitresses and bartenders who earn tips will increase from $4.23 to $4.29 per hour.