A potential 20 percent minimum wage hike doesn't sit well with the McLean County Chamber of Commerce. (photo by Zach Dietmeier/WJBC)
By Zach Dietmeier
BLOOMINGTON - The McLean County Chamber of Commerce isn't excited about a proposed 20 percent minimum wage hike in Illinois.
"We're already above the federal level and raising that to $10 an hour has major concern to us," Director of Government and Public Affairs Ryan Whitehouse said. "Right off the bat a large increase is hard to swallow and that rate hike is probably too large a jump in one fell swoop."
Gov. Quinn's proposal in his State of the State address will not see favorable reaction from small business owners in Bloomington-Normal. Quinn's suggestion is to raise the statewide minimum wage from $8.25 to $10 an hour.
"Obviously, increasing the minimum wage could result in less hiring in the community, higher costs to consumers when the are purchasing, and possibly lead to layoffs throughout Illinois," Whitehouse said.
The Chamber wants to sit down with local legislators to express concerns. Whitehouse said Quinn and the Illinois General Assembly must know how hiking the minimum wage affect business in Bloomington-Normal.
"Our local legislators I think know very well where we stand as an organization and where our members stand," Whitehouse said. "We would build that coalition across Illinois with other business organizations and talk to legislators - not only our own - about what the negative impacts of this increase could be to the economy of Illinois."
Under the proposal the raise to $10 would be completed by 2017.
Zach Dietmeier can be reached at email@example.com.