Hochul's proposal to raise minimum wage has Long Island business owners worried

The governor's proposal would immediately bring the minimum wage to $16 an hour - and up to $17 an hour by 2026.

Kevin Vesey

Apr 29, 2023, 1:00 AM

Updated 440 days ago

Share:

Gov. Kathy Hochul's plan to raise the state minimum wage has some small business owners on Long Island concerned.
The governor's proposal would immediately bring the minimum wage to $16 an hour - and up to $17 an hour by 2026.
In 2027, the minimum wage would be connected to the consumer price index, which means it would potentially keep increasing.
Business owners tell News 12 they understand people need to make enough money to survive but say the plan will make it difficult to maintain their own livelihood.
"If it goes up to $17 that means my overhead is going to go up and my landlord doesn't want to know I can't pay the rent," says Harry Cohen, of The Chocolate Duck in Farmingdale. "PSEG doesn't want to know I can't pay the electric."
Other business owners say that a lot of people are going to go out of business if costs go up and the minimum wage plan goes through.
Economic development consultant Martin Cantor says the plan would pose a blow to small businesses, but the increase would be a lifeline for those living on minimum wage salaries.
"We have people who have to Long Island who need an increase in minimum wage because rents are so high, property taxes are so high," Cantor says. "The governor chose to, in effect, tax small businesses and tax consumers by increasing the minimum wage."
It's not clear how much the minimum wage could increase when it becomes connected to the consumer price index. Cantor says it could go up to around $20 per hour after a few years.


More from News 12