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Local small business owner weighs in on minimum wage debate

By: Matthew Rand Email
By: Matthew Rand Email

HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) - A new call from Washington to raise the federal minimum wage has some cheering, but others say the move would drive up inflation and hurt small businesses.
WYMT spoke with a small business owner in Hazard to see what she thinks about the debate.

Beth Back is the owner of Barnyard Boutique, a pet grooming shop in Hazard. She says she is not worried an increase in the federal minimum wage would hurt her business.

"Honestly I think it's about time. I agree with it i'm totally for it," she said. "I think it would help a lot of people who are in poverty level right now."

During his State of the Union address Tuesday night, President Obama laid out his plan to stimulate the economy by raising the minimum wage to nine dollars an hour. This drew immediate criticism from who say that would only drive up inflation and hurt small businesses.

"When you raise the price of employment, guess what happens. You get less of it," said House Speaker John Boehner. "At a time when the american people are still asking the question 'where are the jobs' why would we want to make it harder for small businesses to hire people."

Other lawmakers are coming to the president's defense. Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo says raising the federal minimum wage is long overdue.

"People who work full time and have a family with two kids still live below the poverty line, and I agree with the president. That's wrong," he said.

Back says extra money in workers' pockets would be a good thing for her business.

More than 15 million workers earn the national minimum wage, making a little more than $15,000 a year.


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