MOUNT VERNON — The prosperity of numerous small businesses may be in a pinch if a federal minimum wage increase is ever approved. President Barack Obama proposed this increase during his State of the Union address, asking for an increase from $7.25 to $9 per hour. The current Ohio minimum wage is $7.85 for hourly employees and $3.93 per hour for tipped employees.
The Associated Press reported that Obama believes this would pump more money into the economy, help create new jobs and allow working families to live above the federal poverty level of $15,080 a year. Opponents claim that this could unfairly burden employers and curb the demand for new workers.
Voicing her displeasure of possibly raising the minimum wage was Dene Slusser, manager of accounting at Dirko’s Pizza. “I’m not sure we could stay open with $9 per hour. It would be a totally different business,” said Slusser. Dirko’s currently has a staff of 18 employees with most of them earning minimum wage. “I don’t think it’s fair to small businesses. I don’t think many could keep operating on it.”
Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Mavis expressed his intention of presenting to city council a consideration for an increase in funding for the city pool as they were $54,000 short of matching operating revenue in 2012.
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