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Small Businesses Call For Delays To Minimum Wage Increases Amid Pandemic Turmoil

Next month, 24 states and the District of Columbia are set to increase their minimum wage. Business groups say increasing wages during the coronavirus pandemic could be the nail in the coffin for many companies, especially smaller ones. (Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Next month, 24 states and the District of Columbia are set to increase their minimum wage. Business groups say increasing wages during the coronavirus pandemic could be the nail in the coffin for many companies, especially smaller ones. (Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Next month, 24 states and the District of Columbia are set to increase their minimum wage. Virginia also approved an increase in pay but decided to delay it by four months due to the ongoing economic fallout of the pandemic.

Business groups say increasing wages now could be the nail in the coffin for many companies, especially smaller ones, and they’re lobbying state lawmakers to delay the hourly wage hikes.

Many economists, however, say workers need more pay to make it through the crisis, and delaying wage increases will only cause more economic damage.

Here & Now‘s Tonya Mosley speaks with Karen Harned, executive director of the National Federation of Independent Business Small Business Legal Center, and Ben Zipperer, an economist at the Economic Policy Institute.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.