President Barack Obama during his wholly original and exciting State of the Union address last month called for Congress to raise the federal minimum wage.

“We know our economy’s stronger when we reward an honest day’s work with honest wages. But today, a full-time worker making the minimum wage earns $14,500 a year. Even with the tax relief we’ve put in place, a family with two kids that earns the minimum wage still lives below the poverty line. That’s wrong,” he said.

“That’s why, since the last time this Congress raised the minimum wage, 19 states have chosen to bump theirs even higher. Tonight, let’s declare that, in the wealthiest nation on Earth, no one who works full time should have to live in poverty — and raise the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour.”

But what do small businesses have to say about the president’s proposal? We’re glad you asked. That’s what we’re here for.

Below is a collection of testimonials from small-business owners who’ve partnered with The Marketplace by TheBlaze, a unique online store featuring some of the best and finest small businesses in the nation.

Here’s what they had to say about the president’s suggestion:

Creative Learning Connection

TheBlaze Marketplace Business Owners Weigh in On the Presidents Call for an Increase in the Minimum Wage Rate

Owner: Catherine Jaime, Madison, Ala.

How does the proposed $9 minimum wage affect any hiring decisions you’re currently faced with?

At the moment my business is so small that I have no help besides family, but the idea of a higher minimum wage is very frightening for our future prospects! If minimum wage goes up, we would definitely delay our first hires.

Do you believe your business would benefit from the $9 proposed minimum wage or be adversely affected? Why?

There is no doubt we would be adversely affected by an increase minimum wage. When I start hiring, I will be in need of part time help that is fairly low skill — teenagers or stay-at-home moms wanting just a little extra money in their budget — that type of thing.

Higher minimum wage would add financial strain to our business.

Mrs. Cavanaugh’s Chocolates

TheBlaze Marketplace Business Owners Weigh in On the Presidents Call for an Increase in the Minimum Wage Rate

Owner: Michael Wall, North Salt Lake, Utah

How would the proposed $9 minimum wage affect your business?  

It would hurt our business greatly.

How does the proposed $9 minimum wage affect any hiring decisions you’re currently faced with?  

We would not hire any new people and we may have to let some go and cut back.

Do you believe your business would benefit from the $9 proposed minimum wage or be adversely affected? Why?   

We would be adversely affected. Government needs to get out of our way. Why don’t we pay congress minimum wage or no wage. Let them donate their time.  By the time we pay all the taxes and jump through all their hoops to stay in business we have to practically work for nothing as owners.

Rinse Bath & Body

TheBlaze Marketplace Business Owners Weigh in On the Presidents Call for an Increase in the Minimum Wage Rate

Owner: Heather Swanepoel, Atlanta, Ga.

How would the proposed $9 minimum wage affect your business?

Bad, bad, bad. Obviously our cost of labor would increase. We have not raised our prices in over 5 years even though the costs of our ingredients have increased. With a minimum wage increase along with the continued rise in ingredient & packaging costs we will need to seriously consider a price increase. We could also absorb the increase by letting go of one of our workers putting more demands upon those who are left.

How does the proposed $9 minimum wage affect any hiring decisions you’re currently faced with?

In the next 4 weeks we are opening up our first retail store & were looking to hire 2 people to help staff it. Now rather than the wage we could to afford (and proudly) offer for the positions, which would attract a better candidate base for the position, against minimum wage isn’t as enticing. Honestly, much of the entry level workforce out there isn’t worth $7.00/hour with the motivation & work ethic they hold.  And now they are going to want us to pay them $9.00/hour?!?!

Do you believe your business would benefit from the $9 proposed minimum wage or be adversely affected? Why?

Adversely affected. Every supplier, vendor or business partner we have will be affected similarly… driving up prices for us… which will in turn drive up prices for our customers.  Or it will mean they let people go, and we might have to as well.

EmergencyGoBags.com

TheBlaze Marketplace Business Owners Weigh in On the Presidents Call for an Increase in the Minimum Wage Rate

Owner: Claudia Wolfkind, Murrieta, Calif.

How would the proposed $9 minimum wage affect your business?

The $9 minimum wage will have a negative effect on our business by forcing us to raise prices and possibly cutting back on some of the products that we carry.

How does the proposed $9 minimum wage affect any hiring decisions you’re currently faced with?

We are currently in the process of hiring/looking at hiring… the positions we are looking at now require more than minimum wage for the type of positions and therefore we’ve had to extend only part-time work offers rather than full-time. With the minimum wage going up it will force us to either not hire any more people, hire only part-time workers and/or just have the current employees take on more work. Our company is currently experiencing “growing pains” we need help… but we’re in that window where we just cannot afford the help we need!

Do you believe your business would benefit from the $9 proposed minimum wage or be adversely affected? Why?

Our business would be adversely affected by a $9 minimum wage because we work with suppliers and manufacturers who run larger businesses and we already know that they will be hurt by both the minimum wage increase and Obamacare.

What it means is that the consumer is going to be the one hurt by price increases, as all the businesses (as well as ours) have to deal with the ever increasing burden of new costs and regulations… it seems to be a never ending cycle. Small Business owners are either forced to do everything themselves, making it impossible for them to have time to grow their businesses, let alone have any time for their families — or they need to hire experts to handle the work for them and therefore be in business solely for the benefit of others, as any profits goes into someone else’s pocket.

At times it seems like a no-win situation. You stay in business because you believe in what you’re doing, what you’re offering will help others and because you still believe in the American Dream!

Kleids

TheBlaze Marketplace Business Owners Weigh in On the Presidents Call for an Increase in the Minimum Wage Rate

Owner: Monroe Kleiderman, Clearwater, Fla.

How would the proposed $9 minimum wage affect your business?

It would make us less competitive with imports.

How does the proposed $9 minimum wage affect any hiring decisions you’re currently faced with?

It would mean keeping all new hires to part-time hours.

Do you believe your business would benefit from the $9 proposed minimum wage or be adversely affected? Why?

Adversely affected. The cost of raw material and services will go up and force me to raise my prices.

Sweetly Divine

TheBlaze Marketplace Business Owners Weigh in On the Presidents Call for an Increase in the Minimum Wage Rate

Owner: Mark Grodkowski, Logan, Utah

My business’s name is Sweetly Divine, and just like many businesses in America, we hire people to help us get the product to the public. We are a small business and we are always looking to get the best price for our customers.  We understand that the pay we offer is not a salary you can build your life on, but rather is a transitional job, where mostly college kids will work or someone who is going through some hard times.

We currently have three employees, and if I would be forced to raise the minimum wage to $9 I would have to lay off two of them and work additional hours myself. This would slow the growth of my business.

When the business grows and I am able to pay people more, I do so according to their skills and desire to work.

Over the years I have had many employees. At one point I had nine people working for me. One employee started as a dishwasher, but was able to advance to a manager. The business grew and increased in sales, and it was exciting to be able to provide my employees the opportunity to advance in the company. Not only was I able to help the community by providing jobs, but I was able to spend quality time with my own family. However, because of the economy’s downfall, I was forced to lay off many people. Now I work 16 or more hours a day, and don’t get as much time with my family as I would like. If the wage were to increase to $9 an hour, I would be left with no other option than to lay off the few employees I do have. I wouldn’t feel like I was benefitting the community, because I would not be able to provide employment.  I want to provide jobs. I want to be a source of hope for high school and college students, those temporarily unemployed, and anyone else who needs a job. But if the pay were to increase, there’s no way I could provide that.

Nebraska Star Beef

TheBlaze Marketplace Business Owners Weigh in On the Presidents Call for an Increase in the Minimum Wage Rate

Owners: Dale Klute, Joe Klute, & Tony Mayes, Holdrege, Neb.

How would the proposed $9 minimum wage affect your business?

It will drive up labor cost on our beef production, which will likely drive up the cost of our beef.

How does the proposed $9 minimum wage affect any hiring decisions you’re currently faced with?

It will force us to “do more with less” to keep prices from going up too radically, which is not likely to help sales…

Do you believe your business would benefit from the $9 proposed minimum wage or be adversely affected? Why?

People who earn minimum wage don’t really fit our customer demographic, and it’s hard to imagine that increasing production cost will result in a more affordable product for the higher earning customers.

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