Many Lincoln small businesses support minimum wage increase

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Nebraskans have a chance to raise the minimum wage on Nov. 8, but the ballot initiative has raised concerns about small businesses not being able to afford it.

On Tuesday, Secretary of State Bob Evnen held a public hearing at the Capitol Building on Initiative 433, which would increase the minimum wage in Nebraska to $15 an hour over the course of several years.

Those opposing the initiative repeatedly spoke about how the increase would be detrimental to small businesses.

“Large corporations will win this price war and deplete small businesses throughout the state,” said Katie Bohlmeyer, a spokeswoman for the Lincoln Independent Business Association. “Voting ‘no’ on Initiative 433 saves small businesses in Nebraska.”

But many small businesses in Lincoln have stood in support of the increase, saying it will make the job market more competitive.

“People want to work in a place that feeds their soul as well as their stomachs,” said Cinnamon Dokken, owner of A Novel Idea Bookstore. “It’s essential that they’re able to put food on the tables. This will allow them to do that, and be able to have a greater range of choices of where to work.”

Channel 8 spoke with several small businesses at the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce’s Business Expo on Wednesday, and all of them were in support of raising the minimum wage.

“We’re always in favor of paying people fairly and doing it in a way that makes sense for us as a company, but then also as a community,” said Brianne Bayer, brand director for Wax Buffalo Co.

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