WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Business Group Fighting Minimum Wage Hike

Mar 25, 2014

The Galesburg Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors voted unanimously to oppose an increase in the state’s minimum wage from $8.25 to $10 an hour.

“It’s a popular campaign issue for votes,” said Executive Director Steven Brody. “I think it’s a way to placate certain special interest groups.”

Credit Rich Egger

Brody considers an increase in the minimum wage a short-sighted approach. He said businesses will raise prices to offset the increase and would table expansion plans.

The Chamber also believes smaller businesses would raise prices and downsize, and the state would have trouble attracting new businesses.

Brody said a minimum wage increase could be “yet another example of how unfriendly Illinois is” to new business.

Governor Quinn is not relenting. He has met with President Barack Obama about raising the federal minimum wage. The Governor also enlisted the assistance of actor Martin Sheen to help him get the word out about what he touts as an escape from poverty for hard-working people.

The federal minimum wage is $7.25, or about $17,000 annually, which is lower than the Federal Poverty Threshold of $19,790.