By MICHAEL KRANSZ
Capital News Service
LANSING — Some Michigan small businesses that pay employees more than the state’s minimum wage say the recent increase could drive costs up for their customers. It rose from $7.40 to $8.15 on Sept. 1 in the first of four phases leading to $9.20 in 2018 for workers who don’t get tips. Mike Valle, owner of Valle’s Village Market in Marquette, said the increase could translate into a price-hike domino effect, even though he is already paying employees more. “I can’t say right now, but I’m sure it’s going to have an impact on the prices,” Valle said.
Michigan’s small businesses rely on recent changes in legislative measures and consumer trends to survive. The state government’s new focus on growing businesses from within is key to the success of local businesses in Michigan. Small Business Association of Michigan (SBAM) President and CEO Rob Fowler said that the state government administration’s move toward economic gardening or, growing businesses within Michigan instead of looking for business elsewhere, is key to job creation in Michigan. “People tend to think that job creation only happens when there’s a big company in town,” he said. After SBAM promoted economic gardening to Gov. Rick Snyder, it was included in his state of the state address in January as part of his plan to improve Michigan.