Minimum Wage Debate: The Good and the Bad

LITTLE ROCK, AR - The debate is being heard not just across the country but also here in the natural state.

Minimum wage workers are demanding more money for their salaries, but business owners say that could lead to fewer hours and even layoffs.

Inside one of Little Rock's long standing businesses. Arkansas Flag and Banner fills the creative needs of customers all across the country. But keeping the machines going and the lights on over 39 years hasn't been easy.

"Entrepreneurs like to bankrupt their business and then bring it back and then bankrupt it then bring it back."

The name of the game is competition according to owner Kerry Mccoy who says it's a challenge for business owners to make profit, pay taxes, and stay afloat.

"My small business size is already working bare bones because we can't compete with the big box stores so we're all working."

Because of that, the push around the country to increase the minimum wage could put more stress on business owners than what employees think

"On the surface, it's an attractive proposition."

Michael Pakko who serves as the state's economic forecaster says everyone likes to rally behind raising minimum wage. It helps out folks at the bottom of the economic totem pole, like teenagers or folks just starting out in life. But raising it could hurt the very people who want it.

"It's going to be reduced hours for both minimum wage workers and other workers."

And it squeezes out more money out of the consumer.

"It could translate into higher prices for customers and lower returns for stock holders and investors and small business owners."

For businesses like Arkansas Flag and Banner, Mccoy fears if minimum wage gets too high,

"We're working just right there."

So too will prices. Which could lead to fewer customers there to buy.

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