It seems to be the million dollar question... How do you boost a failing economy? The new york state assembly decided in May, one way might be raise the minimum wage. But as in physics, every action has an equal or great reaction. So how would this affect small business owners?
Area business owner Rocky Fiato says, "Having the minimum wage as it is right now gives me an opportunity to have more people come in for a job."
Executive Director of the Herkimer Chamber of Commerce John Scarano says, "I think it's going to be really detrimental. I think it's a proven fact you raise the wages that much you're going to actually lose jobs. Small business owners, if they employee eight people they'll say well I'll have to do this at six people. And then what happens."
Currently the New York minimum wage is at seven twenty-five an hour but the proposed increase would make it eight dollars and fifty cents, but the federal government wants to make it even higher. And owners like rocky say takes away the option of increasing wage based on performance.
Fiato says, "I think that if this wage goes right up to $9.60, you don't have that option anymore because they know they're going to get it and they really don't have to prove themselves to get an increase in their hourly wage."
Rocky says most of his employees are above minimum wage because due to what he's learned as a small business owner. "I learned a long time ago, I've been in business for 36 years. You've got to take care of your employees, especially good ones. If you don't take care of good employees they're not going to stay with you long."
Experts say an increase to minimum wage has a domino effect causing the price of goods to go up as well.
Scarano added, "It won't help with the poverty level, it will not because let's face it, if minimum wage goes up cost of goods is going to go up. I don't think people making minimum wage are going to be better off, they're going to pay 50 cents more for a hamburger."