Minimum Wage Increase Splits Business Community - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Minimum Wage Increase Splits Business Community

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SALISBURY, Md. - By January, all Maryland businesses will have to pay out $11 for minimum wage after a state mandate was passed this year. 

But many business owners in Salisbury are anxious for what the staggered increase towards $15 an hour by 2026 will bring.

Old Towne Deli Owner Vicente Hernandez says he hopes the community is patient during this process, because prices could change.

"If our minimum wage increases to exponential amounts, that prices have to incrementally increase as well. As long as we understand that as a community, and we support all small businesses the same way I feel it will be a smoother transition," Hernandez said. 

Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Bill Chambers says this will hit the business community pretty hard, especially hospitality and restaurant industries.

"It's going to restrict job growth, and it will restrict business investment in the long run," Chambers said.

The Maryland Department of Labor says there are around 13 different types of minimum wages, based on different amendments for employee ages, counties in Maryland and the size of each business. 

Jared Schablein, a college student and part time employee, says this will be great for the working class.

"People deserve a livable wage. They won't have to live paycheck to paycheck anymore. What does that mean for businesses? It means people like myself can go out and support local businesses," Schablein said. 

While all businesses will have to be at $11 by January 2020, by January 2026 incremental increases each year will bring the state minimum wage up to $15 an hour.

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