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Local Business And Non-Profit Bracing For Minimum Wage Increase

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SOUTHERN TIER, N.Y. -

Businesses across the state have been bracing for another minimum wage hike.

Two million New Yorkers will get a pay bump in 2018.

Fox 40 spoke to a local business and a not-for-profit to see how they are handling the increase.

Michael Hadlick has owned Michelangelo’s Pizzeria in Binghamton since 2005.

Over the past several years, he’s had to raise prices to keep up with the increase in minimum wage for his 50 employees.

“I raise things 15 cents here, a quarter there, and hopefully that’ll do it. I don’t want to do it too drastically, I might lose business you know?”

So far, Hadlick says it hasn’t hurt his business.

“I think our food is good and we give great portions, great service. It hasn’t affected it since I raised the prices the past five years.”

In Johnson City, the situation is different for Mom’s House, a not-for-profit that provides free childcare to single parents getting their education.

“We really can’t offset it by charging more for our services because our services are already free.”

Laura Bowen, Executive Director of Mom’s House, says the previous year’s pay increases have been manageable for her employees. This one was much harder on her budget.

“We’ve always tried to make sure there’s a gap between minimum wage and what we pay in our pay rate, and what we pay our teachers and our teacher’s aides.”

Now, that gap is closing. Mom’s House is looking to the community for help.

“It'll have to be fundraisers, private grants, the community. The community has supported Mom’s House for thirty years now.”

Hadlick is looking for other ways to save, living saving on water, energy, electric, and gas, in hopes that he doesn’t need to cut staff.

“I won’t do it if I don’t have to.”

On Tuesday, the Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce spoke out about the minimum wage increase in a statement to Fox 40.

“The increase on minimum wage, just like any other government regulation, causes an additional hurdle for businesses across the board,” said Jennifer Conway, President and CEO of the Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce.  “These mandatory wage increases typically result in a loss of jobs or a rise in costs, both of which negatively impact the community it’s designed to help - fortunately, our entrepreneurs and business owners have the passion to succeed and we will continue to advocate for pro-business policies that allow for growth and innovation right here in the Southern Tier and throughout New York State.”

The phased-in rates increase minimum wage in Upstate New York by $.70 each year until it reaches $12.50 in 2020.