Local businesses get ready for minimum wage increase

Posted at: 11/07/2012 6:22 PM
By: Joseph Lynch, KOB Eyewitness News

Starting next year, minimum wage workers in Albuquerque will be getting a bigger paycheck. Voters overwhelmingly favored boosting the wage by a dollar, to $8.50 an hour. KOB Eyewitness News talked to business owners getting ready for the hike.

Whether you bust suds, make sandwiches or work any minimum wage job in Albuquerque, the passage of the minimum wage measure will put some extra money in your pocket. Businesses like Baggin's Sandwich Shop understand why those making the least would want to do a little better, but feel it's a catch-22. One way or another, everyone will feel it, according to Baggin's owner Al Rivera.

"Some places, unlike me, are going to have to lay people off and cut peoples hours and that's just defeating the purpose right there," Rivera said.

Other small businesses, like Gorilla Graphix, aren't worried. Owner Travis Parkin says he's already paying his employees more than the $8.50 that was just passed.  

"The people who are going to feel it the most are the big box companies and the large corporations. Who have many,many,many more employees than any local operation and they'll be forced to pay their people a more decent salary," Parkin said.

Baggin's owner Rivera said the clock is ticking. The cost could be passed down to you and January's coming fast.

"Being that it's going to start in January it does hurt a little more, because there wasn't really much discussion about it," Rivera said.