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Small business support for wage increase

By Maria Hickey, KWMU

St. Louis, MO. – Several small business owners in St. Louis came out in support Monday of an initiative to increase the minimum wage in Missouri.

Missouri's current minimum wage is $5.15. Voters will be asked November 7 whether it should be increased to $6.50 an hour.

Lew Price, the owner of the music store Vintage Vinyl in the Loop, supports the wage increase.

Price says he pays his employees an hourly minimum of $8.

"What I get are employees who are devoted to the business who do a great job, and I save a great deal of money," Price said. "If I paid minimum wage I'm betting that like most employers who pay minimum wage I'd would be seeing people changing jobs every three, four, five, six months and people being less reliable."

Opponents of the minimum wage increase argue it will hurt small businesses and mean fewer jobs.

Proponents say that hasn't happened in other states, such as Illinois, that have raised the minimum.