Obama to raise minimum wage, business owners say OK - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Obama to raise minimum wage, business owners say OK

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CORALVILLE (KWWL) -

Randy Larson owns Monica’s Restaurant in Coralville, and says the projected minimum wage increase President Barack Obama addressed in his State of the Union Tuesday night should be served on a silver platter.

Larson admits that a potential increase would put a cut in his budget, but he says by giving this type of increase in someone's wage, they'll spend it -- and it goes right back into the economy.

“What I like about it is that this is money going right back into the economy,” said Larson. “Business owners want to pay people as much as they can pay them, because it’s their people. They want them to succeed; they want them to have good lives.”

Larson says when the minimum wage in Iowa went up years ago, he made it through.

“It has an effect on the budget for sure,” he said. “It might be a $100,000 effect on the budget, but you raise your prices to compensate for that, and the customers, I think, understand that this is so people can have a living wage.”

Larson won’t expect prices at Monica’s to go up any more than 50 cents to $1 per menu item.

However, Iowa City resident Chris McCollam doesn't understand why the government would even touch the minimum wage.

“Actually, I don’t think the federal government should set a minimum wage -- I think the economy should set it,” said McCollam.

He says if the government stepped out of it, the market would set its own minimum wage.

“I think, as long as you’re given a good product, a fair price and a decent portion, and you’re taking care of your customers, I think your customers will get used to it and (you) won’t have that terrible effect people worry about,” said Larson.

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