Illinois Minimum Wage Increase Could Impact Small Businesses

Several states and cities have already tackled the issue of raising the minimum wage. Now, Illinois Democrat Governor J.B. Pritzker would like for Illinois to be the next in line.

He’s asking the general assembly to have a bill on his desk ready to sign in February before he proposes a new budget.

Now, small business owners are trying to figure out how this increase will trickle down to affect their business as the state looks to move the minimum wage from just under $9 an hour to a more than $6 an hour more increase to $15 an hour.

At the start of the new year, 18 states increased its minimum wage. A few states and cities have taken steps to put wages at a level of $15 an hour, or what workers right’s advocates call, “a living wage.”

Pritzker wants his state to be the next.

For one small business owner in Mount Carmel, raising the wage will have a top to bottom effect on his business.

“An impact of a minimum wage of that kind, affects a lot of people,” said Little Italy’s Pizza owner Kevin List. “It affects us as owners. We have to figure out how to pay people that kind of money.

“When it all [comes] down to it, you’ve got to figure out how to pay that minimum wage, no matter what it is.”

Illinois hasn’t seen an increase since 2010 when it raised the minimum wage to its current rate of $8.25. The senate labor committee heard a proposal to raise the wages to $15 an hour.

“I understand the philosophy, get more money in people’s pockets and they’re going to spend more money and it’s going to help the economy,” said List.

Illinois has the highest minimum wage in the tri-state. Kentucky and Indiana offer a $7.25 per hour wage which is in line with the current federal minimum wage rate.

Not only could raising minimum wage lead to fewer hours for employees and owners and managers working more, List says the customers will also see an impact when it comes to how much money comes in and out of their pockets.

“A big chunk of it is passed along to the customers, it just has to be,” said List.



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