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Regional Businesses React to Proposed Minimum Wage Hike

Regional Businesses React to Proposed Minimum Wage Hike
Peoria, IL (March 11, 2013)—In his State of the State address last month, Governor Pat Quinn proposed increasing the Illinois minimum wage from $8.25 to at least $10.50. The Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce asked its members their opinion on this proposal to gauge how this proposed change would impact the regional business community.
Of the 323 responses received by the Peoria Area Chamber, 84% are opposed to the increase while 14% are in favor of it. Peoria Area Chamber President Roberta Parks said beyond support or opposition, she wanted know what unintended consequences may result if the proposal is passed. “Business leaders told us they would be forced to increase their product cost which would be passed on to consumers. Others said they would have to shift their hiring focus to more skilled employees leaving the lesser skilled workers out of the labor market. Both of these are unintended consequences that will have a significant impact on the marketplace.”
Other Chambers of Commerce throughout the region including Pekin, Lincoln/Logan County, McLean County, Springfield, Canton and Champaign County also conducted surveys with their membership.
Combined, more than 1150 people responded and the results were overwhelmingly against the proposal with 86% of respondents in opposition to it. 25% said a minimum wage hike will force them to increase prices, 21% said they will have to reduce staff in order to compensate for the wage increase and 21% said wage creep will affect their business negatively.
The current minimum wage increase proposal is SB68. It is the same bill introduced last session by Senator Lightford. This bill would increase minimum wage 50 cents per year until it reaches $10.50 which is estimated to be comparable to the minimum wage when it was first passed in the 1960’s. It would increase annually based on the Consumer Price Index. This bill would also remove many of the current exemptions for agricultural workers, wait staff and etc…
To schedule an interview regarding the results from the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce’s Minimum Wage survey contact Renee Charles at 309-495-5905 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

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