Small Business Afraid Of Minimum Wage Hike

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When Laura Miller opened her flower store she knew it would involve a lot of hard work, but she never imagined pulling as many all-nighters.

"Valentine's Day I went straight 40 hours, working 40 hours with no sleep," said Miller, the owner of Delta Flowers.

While some holidays are an exception, Miller typically works 55 hours a week. Now she's nervous what an increase in the state's minimum's wage might mean for her workload.

"I can't cut back any more and still run the business like I'm running it," Miller added.

How to afford higher wages for her five employees is just one challenge.

A hike in the minimum wage may also cause a chain reaction with increasing operating costs. Miller says her store relies on other business such as flower growers and wholesalers that might have to change their price points.

"It's going to affect us about 5 to 10 different times through out that route of getting flowers to the consumer," Miller explained.

That might translate to higher prices for customers, but Miller is hoping to prevent that.

Lawmakers say that's not the point of changing the current law.

"It's a balancing act of trying to get people higher wages but also make sure that we're not killing the economy in the process and not taking a step backwards as far as job creation," said Rep. Pete Lund, (R-Shelby Township).

But with her business still trying to recover from the recession, Miller is afraid any more costs could prevent her from breaking even.

"We just take another blow like that, we just can't," she added.

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