Business reacts to Linn County minimum wage proposal

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG TV9)-- Minimum wage workers in Linn County could soon get a boost in pay.

Linn County Supervisors weighed a recommendation for an increase in the minimum wage in the county to $8.25. A volunteer study group made that recommendation last week.

That's under a plan from a county supervisor to increase the wage, starting next year.

The proposal would increase the minimum wage in the county by a dollar each year, starting in 2017. That would continue until the minimum wage reaches $10.25 an hour in 2019.

Cities could choose three options of this ordinance: It can accept it, modify the ordinance to its own liking or opt out completely.

But one small business owner wants the county to take a closer look at the impact of such a move before it raise the minimum wage.

Shawna Lane started working at Sub City nearly 20 years ago, now she's the owner of the restaurant.

"I work open to close every Monday through Saturday," she said.

Lane says business has decreased the last couple years. She's down to just two other employees, who she says she pays slightly above the current minimum wage.

Lane says she's heard rumblings of the minimum wage possibly increasing. She worries how her business will survive.

"I'd probably have to raise prices, and I wouldn't be able to afford anything extra for the business."

But Lane acknowledges the other side.

"I understand people need to make more if I had to find a job I would need to make more than minimum wage."

She wishes there would be a different way to approach this issue.

"I think it should be based on what the business wants, not what the county wants... Or what the business can do," Lane said.

Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett says he's for an increase in minimum wage but isn't sure about one each of the next three years.

"I disagree with the escalator. I personally think we should get together every year take in consideration the economic times, take in consideration the work force and labor shed," Corbett said.

The Linn County Board of Supervisors is meeting again Wednesday for a vote to ask the county attorney to officially start drafting this ordinance.