Business leaders call for delay in minimum wage raise

State News

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — Many small business owners are hoping to bring back employees they were forced to lay off after the stay at home order ends. The Illinois chamber of commerce believes the July minimum wage increase would make that plan much harder.

“We need to not be talking about increasing their costs. We need to be talking about decreasing their costs, and what we can do to allow them to get reopened, and rehire their employees,” Todd Maisch, CEO of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce said.

The states minimum wage will increase by 75 cents in July. Delaying the increase would have to be done by the legislature, but lawmakers are not planning on coming back anytime soon.

Even then, Pritzker would still need to sign off on the measure, and he didn’t like the idea when asked about it at his press conference.

“It’s only been the large business organizations like the chamber of commerce that have brought this up,” Pritzker said. “The truth is, I think the current conditions actually indicate more than ever before why we need to raise the minimum wage across the state.”

The governor believes that the wage increase will help those who lost their jobs due to the pandemic get back on their feet, but organizations like the national federation of independent businesses thinks the negative impact on business owners could negate those potential positives.

“All those things are affected by (the increase),” Mark Grant, State Director of the NFIB said.
All your costs will increase. Its not just a 75 percent increase. It’s a cumulative thing, and it can be expensive for businesses.”

The increase is set to take effect on July 1st. It will raise the minimum wage to 10 dollars per hour. Then it will increase again at the start of 2020 to 11 dollars.

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