Local businesses prepare for minimum wage hike in 2020

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BUFFALO N.Y. (WIVB) – In a few weeks many Western New York workers can expect to see a little more money in their paycheck. Starting on New Years Eve, minimum wage throughout the state will raised to $11.80 an hour.

“This is the third or fourth year with an increase at the end of the year. I think for us it’s just become part of running a business like any other increase,” Gaetana Schueckley, who owns Treehouse Toy Store on Elmwood, said.

Schueckley runs Treehouse Toy Store on with her husband David. Since opening 23 years ago, they say the cost of running their store has gone up.

“Our shipping costs go up every year, our payroll costs go up every year, our insurance and utility costs go up every year,’ Gaetana said. “Our inventory costs go up every year.”

Minimum wage throughout New York state is going from $11.10 to $11.80.

“Since we’ve opened, we’ve always tried to pay more than minimum wage,” Gaetana said. “it’s not as simple as just the wage.”

She said it’s not just the fact that minimum wage is going up, but there are other fees that are linked to it, including insurance and work place comp. Gaetana said her and her husband will do what they can to not let this effect their business or staff.

“As a small business our differentiation is our service which equates to our people and our staff,” She said. “It’s really important for us to be able to have staff and that’s not something we would ever consider not having and so it’s just a way of getting creative.”

The owner of Revolver Records on elmwood says he’s not making any changes right now until he knows how the minimum wage increase will affect his business.

“I may at some point have to adjust and work a few more hours to cover that if it really does start hurting us in the numbers and that but I don’t think it’ll make a huge difference the way it is now,” Phil Machemer said.

This is part of governor Andrew Cuomo’s initiative to eventually raise the minimum wage statewide to $15 an hour. By the end of 2020 it’ll be $12.50.

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