AURORA, Colo. (CBS4)– Aurora City Council Member Alison Coombs is proposing raising the minimum wage in Colorado’s third largest city. Not everyone is supporting that idea, especially some business owners.
“All the people working in the city of Aurora, need a higher wage,” said Coombs.
If her proposal is approved by the city council, it would raise minimum wage in Aurora above the $12 an hour state level to $20 over the next seven years.
Alik Kassner is a partner of a home healthcare business in Aurora. He says he supports paying employees a livable wage. His company already pays his employees over minimum wage, his business will never be able to pay employees more than they already do.
“I feel bad because business always gets put in the role as a bad guy in these discussions, but we’re always the ones that have to end up pointing out the economic realities,” Alik said.
He says the reality is that many businesses can’t afford $20 an hour. Especially during an economic downturn.
“There’s no money for it. Neither on the government level or the business level,” Alik says. “I do marvel at the timing of this.”
Coombs says the data she’s reviewed indicates a higher minimum wage will help the economy.
“There a slight increase in small business growth. In addition, those job losses that are predicted don’t materialize,” says Coombs.
Alik says he knows his finances and says if this proposal is enacted he will shut down in Aurora causing his clients to loose care and his employees to lose their jobs.
“We cannot service that area anymore,” he says.