WITH the minimum wage officially being raised across the country, will this have a positive or negative affect on small business owners in Leeton?
Leeton Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Matt Gatt doesn’t believe so.
The minimum wage was increased by 3.5 per cent last week by the Fair Work Commission.
Some business owners across the country were wary of the idea when first proposed, saying it was just another expense they would not be able to afford.
However, Mr Gatt said he hadn’t heard negative feedback from Leeton shire’s businesses.
He said those worried about their bottom line should look into several options.
”There is plenty of support and programs out there for businesses now,” he said.
“Places like Sureway and CVGT can help you out … there’s a lot of incentives out there to higher workers, but also not be out-of-pocket because the government is chipping in.
“It’s worth looking into.
“I don’t think too many businesses (in Leeton shire) would be too worried about this.
“I think in places like Leeton we need to be paying staff, where possible, above their award. It’s incentives like that which will keep people in town.”
The NSW Business Chamber has slightly different thoughts on the issue.
Chief executive officer Stephen Cartwright said the government now needed to focus on measures to improve productivity and reduce red tape.
“Without direct action in both areas, employment and wages growth will languish,” he said.
“With small business struggling with increasing cost pressures, especially gas and electricity prices, we are concerned the cumulative impact of successive increases well beyond three per cent may impact business growth and employment.
“The chamber recognises the authority of the Fair Work Commission, but believes more needs to be done to support small business.”
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