S.D. possible minimum wage raise could affect local businesses, and their younger employees

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–Kelsey Crouse–

The South Dakota Democratic Party along with a few unions announced that they would push for a 2014 ballot that would raise the state’s minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.50 an hour. The proposal is meant to put more money in the hands of state’s poorest workers and help the circulation.

If the bill is passed, how would it affect Mobridge businesses and their employees?

Danielle Dekker, owner of Bridge City Florist & Coffee, said she supports the possible increase even though she would have to restructure to keep her employees, including cutting back their hours.

“I understand the good of it,” Dekker said, “at the end of the day I’m for it. People having more money in their pocket is good for everyone.”

The consensus from business owners is that it would mostly affect the younger workers just starting in the work force. Several business owners say that the wage increase would put a stop to them taking a chance on an inexperienced worker.

Bill Lind, owner of Lind’s Hardware, thinks its time that the minimum wage was raised. The new ballot would not have a huge effect on his employees Lind’s workers are mostly full-time and are paid above minimum wage.

“I would have to cut back part-timers,” said Lind, “and cut back on the number of young ones that would grow in the company.”

Mobridge business owners expressed that they want fair wages for their employees and will do what is necessary to accommodate the possible raise in minimum wage. Cutting back hours and raising consumer costs are both possibilities.

Kayla Fred, an employee at Dairy Queen, thinks that the raise in wages would motivate others to join the work force. Although the raise would not affect her or most of her fellow employees, it could affect future hires. Dairy Queen bases the wages, on their productivity, meaning everyone is paid above minimum wage after the three-month training period.  Business owners fear with the possibility of higher wages, employment will drop if not completely cease for young inexperienced workers  in Mobridge.

 
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