Workers at local businesses share how they feel about an increase in the minimum wage
President Joe Biden says it is vital to raise the national minimum wage. In many states, the minimum wage is still $7.25 an hour. Reports show that some businesses have mixed feelings about raising pay for workers.
Personally, I feel like the minimum wage being raised to $15 an hour would really help stimulate our economy,” said Giovonnt’e Baker, head chef and manager at Americana Kitchen and Grille.
About 40 percent of Americans make below $15 an hour.
“It really would be a great thing for those persons who are trying to take care of multi-person households,” said Baker.
The federal minimum wage has been stuck at $7.25 an hour since 2009. In many cases, businesses have long argued that higher wages risk employees working fewer hours.
“It’s likely a combination of the two. They’ll likely be working people fewer hours and raising prices for the consumer, so really nobody wins,” said Brooks Shaw, manager at Old Country Store.
Former President Donald Trump believed that raising the minimum wage should be under state control because each state is unique.
“In raising the minimum wage to $1 an hour, we are looking at everything going up again,” said Baker.
Baker is a native of Chicago, where the cost of living and the minimum wage is much higher than in Tennessee. He knows that if wages increase, the cost of living will also.
“A gallon of gas here for $2.09, you’re looking 3 or 4 dollars for a gallon of gas because of the price of the minimum wage. Minimum wage is higher there, so everything is higher there,” said Baker.
Shaw believes it should be up to biz owners to raise wages based on its performance.
“Alot of this should be left up to the individual businesses in our capitalistic system. So it’s this great cycle. better business improves wages which bring in more people which improves wages.”
Tennessee is among the states with the highest percentage of minimum wage workers.