Jefferson City News Tribune: Minimum wage proposal divides businesses

By Philip Joens
Jefferson City News Tribune, October 11, 2018

A proposal to raise Missouri's minimum wage to $12 per hour by 2023 is dividing businesses. ...

Not all businesses oppose Proposition B. More than 450 business representatives signed a list supporting Proposition B, according to Businesses For a Fair Minimum Wage, a group of business owners that support the measure.

Eleven Jefferson City business owners signed to indicate their support: Spectators Sports Bar & Grill owner Scott Drinkard, Love2Nourish owner Laurel Dunwoody, J.R. Pain Management owner Julie Ruengert, Antiquarium owner Lance Salmons, Premium Pets owner Brittany Schlup, Haute Salon owner Brandon Scott, Red Wheel Bike Shop owner Nick Smith, Modern Technologies owner Kevin Wendel, former High Handsome owner Steve Gilpin, former Simply Chic owner Kiley Hartzler and Goodrich Quality Theaters owner Bob Goodrich.

Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Goodrich Quality Theaters owns the GQT Capital 8 Theaters near Capital Mall in Jefferson City and the Goodrich Forum 8 movie theater in Columbia. Hourly GQT employees in Missouri start by making about $8 per hour, Goodrich said, and every 120 days employees receive a 5-cent-per-hour pay increase.

Paying employees more reduces turnover costs by giving employees an incentive to stay in their job longer, Goodrich said.

"Most people stay with us the better part of a year," Goodrich said. "They can meet the needs of a customer better than if they're brand new."

Goodrich is unconcerned about the impact on his own bottom line and said raising the minimum wage will help his employees pay for necessities.

"When a business man says, 'Raising the minimum wage is going to affect my business,' he is really saying, 'I'm going to make less,'" Goodrich said. "That concerns me and is really unfair." ...

Raising the minimum wage to $12 per hour would affect 670,000 Missourians and result in an increase of $1 billion in consumer buying power by 2023, according to the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute. ...

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