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Tallahassee businesses react to minimum wage increase

Published: Sep. 30, 2021 at 7:35 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - The minimum wage jump from $8.65 to $10.00 is the largest the state of Florida has ever seen, but businesses owners in Tallahassee are worried about the adjustments they will need to make to get by.

“Being a part of the restaurants we start having our prices go up. I mean we work on such a small percentage of profit that we you know we can’t absorb all of that,” said Eddie Agramonte, owner of Gordo’s/ Bumpa’s Local 349.

“We’re going to have to up our prices on some of our higher end items. Craft cocktails and things like that and we think that the volume we have will mitigate the difference,” said Bob Arbuthnot, owner of Over Under, a bar and lounge in midtown Tallahassee.

And although employee income has increased, the taxes for business also goes up.

“And the other side of it as well is that we have to pay taxes on that increase also. So it’s not just the wage, it’s the tax on that wage also that creates another burden,” said Arbuthnot.

The increase also making business think twice about who they hire.

“I just hate to see that people get price out of jobs. High school kids not being able to work because we can’t pay somebody to learn how to wash a dish. You know you have to come in with some skill set hopefully those guys with the skill set comes back,” said Agramonte.

Business owners are also considering those who have earned their raises and may want more as the wage continues to increase.

“It’s the people who are making the 14 and $15 they have put in two or three years and now they see somebody a few near years from now making $15 as soon as they start and so what are you do with that person,” explained Arbuthnot.

Agramonte says he wants people to realize these minimum wage changes affects everyone.

“People have to understand that this is not just, this hits all of us the same,” said Agramonte. When prices go up, when wages go up, then food costs go up, it’s on all of us. And we have to leave together work it out I guess.”

Owners expect a lot of adjustments will be necessary for businesses to continue to stay afloat.

Proponents of the increase approved by voters in 2020 say that raising the minimum wage will increase economic activity and spur job growth.

The minimum wage will continue to increase every September 30th until it reaches $15 in 2026.

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