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Dale County Minimum Wage Hike

With the federal minimum wage going up this week, many in Dale County think the impact will rest largely on those who make minimum wage and those who employ them.

Five dollars and 85 cents might not sound like much, but the increase from $5.15 to someone on minimum wage just might mean the difference.

But what about business owners? How do they think the increase will affect things?

Business Owner Ronnie Helms said, "I know coming from a poor family that we had a hard time making it on minimum wage when I was a young man. So I fully support raising minimum wage and I think it will be good for business."

The city of Ozark decided to give its employees a raise who weren't on minimum wage, and other businesses have taken the same steps.

Paula Munn, another business person in the area said they have increased, "As much as the other businesses, being that we don't hire any one with minimum wage. But overall, I think the cost of everything is going to raise, so I think it's good for employees to also get a raise."

Many people in Dale County see this as the natural course of things. As the cost of gas and food rise, they think that people should get paid more as well.

Chase Waller, a local Sears employee said, "I think it's a great thing for the people. I'm glad it got increased; [it will] help people out with money, but the other thing is groceries are going up and stuff, so some people might not actually see a increase in their money."

There are those who disagree with the idea of a minimum wage altogether, saying workers should be paid their value. But as of Tuesday, that value has to be set above $5.85 per hour.

The bill that called for the raise also included $5-billion dollars worth of tax relief so small businesses can offset the cost of paying the higher wage.


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