New Year Brings Higher Wages

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The lowest paid workers in Ohio are in for a nice surprise; they'll be starting the new year with a raise.

However, these increased wages could have a negative effect on small businesses.

Arielle Gabhart, an employee for American Flags and Poles in Marietta, said she loves to shop, and she'll be able to do a lot more shopping when she brings in the new year with a pay raise.

"If you look at it day to day, I'm just part time, so it doesn't seem like a lot, but over two weeks it does add up," Gabhart said.

But when it comes to those scooping out the extra bucks, it's a completely different story.

"I am cutting back on employees because we just really can't afford to have extra people around," Asunta Damron, owner of My Favorite Things, said.

With minimum wage in Ohio rising from $7 an hour to $7.30, shop owners say that's just one more factor that could hurt small businesses.

"Our taxes go up. Our wages increase. Everything increases, but our sales decrease," Damron said.

Something even those benefiting from the raise can understand and sympathize with.

"It's kind of a double edge sword how that's working out, because we get higher pay, but also in turn it's not as good for business," Erica West, an American Flags and Poles employee, said.

"It does put a strain on the store," Gabhart said.

A strain of paying more out, in a time when less cash is coming in.

The minimum wage of servers and others working for tips will rise from $3,50 an hour to $3.65.

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