Minimum wage increase may cause problems for local businesses - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Minimum wage increase may cause problems for local businesses

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YAKIMA, WA - The people have spoken, and the minimum wage in Washington state is going up.

While it's good for workers, it's left some local business owners worried about their futures.

Take a walk through downtown Yakima and you'll notice the wide array of mom and pop shops. Like other owners, they worry about sales and competitive prices, but with the passing of Proposition 1433, they have something new to worry about come January.

Linda Davis is the owner of Shorty's Sweets, Treats 'N Cakes in downtown Yakima, where they sell a large variety of deserts as well as lunch.

At this moment work is good, but come next year things could change due to the minimum wage increase.

A change that is sweet for some, but has left others with a bitter taste in their mouths.

"I can see a lot of these small businesses not being able to make it, and I just hope that with our good customers that we'll be able to stick this out," said Davis.

The first raise happens on January 1st, increasing minimum wage to $11 an hour. From there the wage will continue to go up until it hits $13.50 in the year 2020.

"My husband keeps assuring me that "It's over time Linda, it's over time", and I'm like "okay" but I panic and worry about money all the time," said Davis.

For Davis, who currently has family members help her and one paid employee, this means less hours to distribute and more hours that she has to work.

"I'm hoping that I won't have to eat up the hours, but if I do, then that is one of things I may have to work with," said Davis.

But that's not all...it could also mean an increase in prices.

"I do see prices going up," Davis said. "I'm hoping that it won't be dramatic."

Davis says that despite the wage increase, she hopes her business continues to thrive and people support not only hers but other locally-owned businesses.

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