Most Ulster businesses surveyed oppose $15 minimum wage

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KINGSTON – A survey of members of the Ulster County Regional Chamber of Commerce has found that 72 percent favor an increase in the minimum wage, but 64 percent oppose rising it to $15 per hour, an increase of 67 percent.
The survey was conducted as the governor pushes hard for an increase to the $15 mark.
“Many members told us that an increase of this magnitude would
cripple their businesses,” said chamber Government Affairs Committee
Chairman Joseph Charmello. “Some members said they would have to
raise the price of their goods and services significantly, which in many
cases would make them much less competitive with other similar businesses
in neighboring states where the minimum wage was lower.”
Other respondents to the survey said they would need to offset the increase by laying off employees. Forty-four percent of those opposed to the increase said they would reduce their workforce by an average of one to five employees. Other business owners reported they would offset the increase in the minimum wage by reducing the number of hours or benefits to their workers.
Several local business owners said they would be forced to close down or move to another state.