LI business owners frustrated with Hochul's proposal to link minimum wage with cost of living
Some Long Island business owners are not happy with Gov. Hochul's State of the State proposal to link the minimum wage to the cost of living.
With inflation continuing to rise, the governor says people's incomes can't keep up.
"This important change will give over 900,000 minimum wage workers a lifeline," Hochul said. "And these workers are most likely to be women and they're more likely to be people of color."
Robert Picciurro, who owns Cravings Catering in Plainview, says he and other business owners have already seen their labor costs go up with mandatory dollar-an-hour increases over the years.
He says that's on top of the rising costs for food and supplies caused by the pandemic.
"I think it's going to make things more difficult for the people that make minimum wage and for the small business owners," Picciurro says.
Critics of the proposal also say forcing employers to pay higher minimum wage will give them no other option but to raise the prices of what they sell.
"We're going to continue to chase people away if we're going to continue to raise the cost of goods and that's exactly what this will do," said State Sen. Dean Murray, of East Patchogue.
Picciurro says the proposal is an added headache he and other business owners are facing.
"We're working harder, making less," Picciurro says.
Hochul says her proposal would include what she calls "guardrails" to limit the impact on small businesses.