Colorado Springs Business Journal: Minimum wage increases again but impact up for debate

By Bob Stephens
Colorado Springs Business Journal, January 5, 2018

Controversy surrounded Colorado’s minimum wage increase even before it passed in the November 2016 election, and that hasn’t changed more than a year later as local business owners remain divided on the subject. About 55 percent of Colorado voters were in favor of Amendment 70, which incrementally raises the state’s minimum wage from $8.31 in 2016 to $12 by 2020. ...

Tracy duCharme has a different outlook on the minimum wage increase, arguing that a rising tide lifts all boats. Since 2009 she has owned Color Me Mine, a franchise store in Chapel Hills Mall where customers select and paint pottery. She has nine employees, a few of whom earn minimum wage while others make slightly more, including tips.

She’s part of the Colorado Business for a Fair Minimum Wage group and said, “I think it’s good for the business environment. My business won’t thrive unless the Colorado Springs economy is healthy and vibrant. My business is not an essential activity; it’s entertainment, a fun activity, and it’s not cheap, so it requires people having disposable income.”

Rather than raise prices in 2018, duCharme hopes to increase efficiency to offset increased labor costs. ...

National trend

The minimum wage is increasing in 18 states in 2018. ...

Holly Sklar, the CEO of Business for a Fair Minimum Wage in Massachusetts, says that’s good.

“Raising the minimum wage puts money in the pockets of workers who most need to spend it — boosting business and the economy from the bottom up,” she said. “Minimum wage increases also pay off in lower employee turnover, reduced hiring and training costs, lower error rates, increased productivity and better customer service.” ...

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Copyright 2018 Colorado Springs Business Journal


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