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Minimum Wage Impact on Local Business

(Photo Courtesy MGN-Online)

(Photo Courtesy MGN-Online)

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) – If you’re making minimum wage right now, you may be getting a raise. The Massachusetts House approved raising the minimum wage to $10.50 an hour over the next two years, Wednesday.

Whether you’re headed for the drive-thru or your favorite local deli for lunch, you may notice some changes as the minimum wage goes up, like changes in pricing.

“You want to have employees that are loyal to you that work hard, do a good job, you have to pay them a fair wage,” said Marsha Del Monte, President of Romito’s & Sons in East Longmeadow.

Romito’s already pays their employees over the current minimum wage. Still an increase to $10.50 will impact them eventually.

While the increase in minimum wage may be popular with employees, for business owners it’s quite another story, and they may need to pass on that expense to you.

Del Monte may not see the increase as a problem for Romito’s and Sons, but at Frigo’s it’s a different story.

“We’re very concerned about this new law and our business and the way we do business on a daily basis,” explained Joe Frigo, owner of Frigo’s.

Frigo’s also pays their employees a higher wage when they are starting out. Their concern is for their customers.

“We’re doing everything we can to keep our prices steady because we’re a small business and a lot of people depend on us so we hope that this doesn’t affect our day to day business where we have to increase our prices,” Frigo said.

Joe Frigo also told us the timing it making this change that much harder. And the hike in minimum wage isn’t the only factor.

“We’re seeing huge increases in roast beef, and this is just another element on top of all our taxes, insurances, all the other overheads, energy, it’s just coming at a bad time right now,” he said.

The new legislation would also overhaul the state’s unemployment insurance system and provide basic work standards and protections for nannies and other domestic workers.

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