7 Small Businesses Tell Us How Obama’s Call For An Increase In Minimum Wage Would Affect Them: ‘Bad, Bad, Bad’

President Barack Obama during his wholly original and exciting State of the Union address last month called for Congress to raise the federal minimum wage.

“We know our economy’s stronger when we reward an honest day’s work with honest wages. But today, a full-time worker making the minimum wage earns $14,500 a year. Even with the tax relief we’ve put in place, a family with two kids that earns the minimum wage still lives below the poverty line. That’s wrong,” he said.

“That’s why, since the last time this Congress raised the minimum wage, 19 states have chosen to bump theirs even higher. Tonight, let’s declare that, in the wealthiest nation on Earth, no one who works full time should have to live in poverty — and raise the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour.”

But what do small businesses have to say about the president’s proposal? We’re glad you asked. That’s what we’re here for.

Below is a collection of testimonials from small-business owners who’ve partnered with The Marketplace by TheBlaze, a unique online store featuring some of the best and finest small businesses in the nation.

Here’s what they had to say about the president’s suggestion:

Creative Learning Connection

How does the proposed $9 minimum wage affect any hiring decisions you’re currently faced with?

At the moment my business is so small that I have no help besides family, but the idea of a higher minimum wage is very frightening for our future prospects! If minimum wage goes up, we would definitely delay our first hires.

Do you believe your business would benefit from the $9 proposed minimum wage or be adversely affected? Why?

There is no doubt we would be adversely affected by an increase minimum wage. When I start hiring, I will be in need of part time help that is fairly low skill — teenagers or stay-at-home moms wanting just a little extra money in their budget — that type of thing.

Higher minimum wage would add financial strain to our business.

Mrs. Cavanaugh’s Chocolates

How would the proposed $9 minimum wage affect your business?  

It would hurt our business greatly.

How does the proposed $9 minimum wage affect any hiring decisions you’re currently faced with?  

We would not hire any new people and we may have to let some go and cut back.

Do you believe your business would benefit from the $9 proposed minimum wage or be adversely affected? Why?   

We would be adversely affected. Government needs to get out of our way. Why don’t we pay congress minimum wage or no wage. Let them donate their time.  By the time we pay all the taxes and jump through all their hoops to stay in business we have to practically work for nothing as owners.

Rinse Bath & Body

How would the proposed $9 minimum wage affect your business?

Bad, bad, bad. Obviously our cost of labor would increase. We have not raised our prices in over 5 years even though the costs of our ingredients have increased. With a minimum wage increase along with the continued rise in ingredient & packaging costs we will need to seriously consider a price increase. We could also absorb the increase by letting go of one of our workers putting more demands upon those who are left.

How does the proposed $9 minimum wage affect any hiring decisions you’re currently faced with?

In the next 4 weeks we are opening up our first retail store & were looking to hire 2 people to help staff it. Now rather than the wage we could to afford (and proudly) offer for the positions, which would attract a better candidate base for the position, against minimum wage isn’t as enticing. Honestly, much of the entry level workforce out there isn’t worth $7.00/hour with the motivation & work ethic they hold.  And now they are going to want us to pay them $9.00/hour?!?!

Do you believe your business would benefit from the $9 proposed minimum wage or be adversely affected? Why?

Adversely affected. Every supplier, vendor or business partner we have will be affected similarly… driving up prices for us… which will in turn drive up prices for our customers.  Or it will mean they let people go, and we might have to as well.


How would the proposed $9 minimum wage affect your business?

The $9 minimum wage will have a negative effect on our business by forcing us to raise prices and possibly cutting back on some of the products that we carry.

How does the proposed $9 minimum wage affect any hiring decisions you’re currently faced with?

We are currently in the process of hiring/looking at hiring… the positions we are looking at now require more than minimum wage for the type of positions and therefore we’ve had to extend only part-time work offers rather than full-time. With the minimum wage going up it will force us to either not hire any more people, hire only part-time workers and/or just have the current employees take on more work. Our company is currently experiencing “growing pains” we need help… but we’re in that window where we just cannot afford the help we need!

Do you believe your business would benefit from the $9 proposed minimum wage or be adversely affected? Why?

Our business would be adversely affected by a $9 minimum wage because we work with suppliers and manufacturers who run larger businesses and we already know that they will be hurt by both the minimum wage increase and Obamacare.

What it means is that the consumer is going to be the one hurt by price increases, as all the businesses (as well as ours) have to deal with the ever increasing burden of new costs and regulations… it seems to be a never ending cycle. Small Business owners are either forced to do everything themselves, making it impossible for them to have time to grow their businesses, let alone have any time for their families — or they need to hire experts to handle the work for them and therefore be in business solely for the benefit of others, as any profits goes into someone else’s pocket.

At times it seems like a no-win situation. You stay in business because you believe in what you’re doing, what you’re offering will help others and because you still believe in the American Dream!


How would the proposed $9 minimum wage affect your business?

It would make us less competitive with imports.

How does the proposed $9 minimum wage affect any hiring decisions you’re currently faced with?

It would mean keeping all new hires to part-time hours.

Do you believe your business would benefit from the $9 proposed minimum wage or be adversely affected? Why?

Adversely affected. The cost of raw material and services will go up and force me to raise my prices.

Sweetly Divine

My business’s name is Sweetly Divine, and just like many businesses in America, we hire people to help us get the product to the public. We are a small business and we are always looking to get the best price for our customers.  We understand that the pay we offer is not a salary you can build your life on, but rather is a transitional job, where mostly college kids will work or someone who is going through some hard times.

We currently have three employees, and if I would be forced to raise the minimum wage to $9 I would have to lay off two of them and work additional hours myself. This would slow the growth of my business.

When the business grows and I am able to pay people more, I do so according to their skills and desire to work.

Over the years I have had many employees. At one point I had nine people working for me. One employee started as a dishwasher, but was able to advance to a manager. The business grew and increased in sales, and it was exciting to be able to provide my employees the opportunity to advance in the company. Not only was I able to help the community by providing jobs, but I was able to spend quality time with my own family. However, because of the economy’s downfall, I was forced to lay off many people. Now I work 16 or more hours a day, and don’t get as much time with my family as I would like. If the wage were to increase to $9 an hour, I would be left with no other option than to lay off the few employees I do have. I wouldn’t feel like I was benefitting the community, because I would not be able to provide employment.  I want to provide jobs. I want to be a source of hope for high school and college students, those temporarily unemployed, and anyone else who needs a job. But if the pay were to increase, there’s no way I could provide that.

Nebraska Star Beef

How would the proposed $9 minimum wage affect your business?

It will drive up labor cost on our beef production, which will likely drive up the cost of our beef.

How does the proposed $9 minimum wage affect any hiring decisions you’re currently faced with?

It will force us to “do more with less” to keep prices from going up too radically, which is not likely to help sales…

Do you believe your business would benefit from the $9 proposed minimum wage or be adversely affected? Why?

People who earn minimum wage don’t really fit our customer demographic, and it’s hard to imagine that increasing production cost will result in a more affordable product for the higher earning customers.

Would Glenn make a better bounty hunter or a Jedi? You'll have to find out in a new episode of the Beltway Banthas Podcast, where Glenn goes deep on Star Wars with host Stephen Kent. In this 45 minute discussion, Stephen and Glenn explore the political themes of the Star Wars franchise, Darth Vader's redemption from Return of the Jedi, Glenn's earliest memories of seeing the films and even debate elements of the latest Star Wars films.

If you enjoy the pop culture and nerdy discussions that Glenn, Pat and Stu get into on the radio show, you'll love this! After you're through, you can also check out Stu Burguiere's appearance on Beltway Banthas to talk Star Wars. You can find that here.

It's never too early to start your Christmas, Hanukah, or Kwanzaa shopping. Or even birthday gift shopping. Especially if that special someone in your life is a Democrat. Because at last count, pretty much all the Democrats are now running for president. And that means there has never been a wider selection of official candidate merchandise to choose from. Whether you're into environmentalism, feminism, classism, socialism, or just plain love, there is a smorgasbord of classy items that you and yours will treasure forever... or at least until the next presidential election.

We have browsed each of the candidates' online stores, so you don't have to (it only took us three months). We have curated only the finest items from each of the Democrats running for president of the United States of America. Without further ado, here is your handy progressive gift guide – or maybe your what-not-to-gift guide.

First, the bargain basement options. Hurry! Time is running out to grab your Beto bandana, or your Delaney pack of golf balls, because at this point Stu has as much of a chance as these guys of getting the nomination.

Tom Steyer, for example – is he still in the race?


There's way too much Tom here. That shirt's got more Toms than a Caucasian dentists' convention.

For the slightly more moderate Democrat in your life, perhaps they'd like to join the "Yang Gang"…


Andrew Yang is a lock for Math Club president…


But for actual president? Well, I wouldn't make plans for how you're going to spend your $1,000-per-month Yang allowance just yet.

If you happen to be shopping for your dog, may I suggest this lovely "Dogs for Delaney" dog collar…


John Delaney's definitely going to secure the canine vote with this kind of outreach. As for any human votes, that's another question entirely.

How 'bout this tastefully understated "Natural Canvas" Michael Bennet tote to remind you he's also still here?...


Then again, it's a tote. So, it'll end up on the floor of your closet and you won't have it with you until that one random moment when you're out somewhere and you really need a tote bag. Just like Democrats will really wish they had a moderate when we're in the middle of the socialist nightmare of their creation.

Captain Planet himself, Jay Inslee recently dropped out of the race, but don't let that stop you from picking up what may be the greatest single item sold by anyone in this race…


A children's book called Elvis & the Elves: the Mystery of the Melting Snow. Written and illustrated by Governor Jay Inslee. Talk about a whodunnit – how could that snow possibly be melting? Spoiler alert: it's because of evil, white, patriarchal capitalism. And Donald Trump.

Then there's the candidate who thinks you're a moron that can't pronounce his last name: Steve Bullock...


Get it? Bull. Lock. Oh, so that's how you say the name that sounds exactly how it's spelled.

There's another candidate who also thinks you need help pronouncing his last name…


And he is definitely right about that. So, thank you, Pete "Boot Edge Edge." That helps.

Just outside the bargain bin section, but just barely, are candidates like Julian Castro and his "El Presidente" t-shirt…


When your last name's Castro, do you really want to go with a weird drawing of yourself as if you're a classic Latin American dictator on a postage stamp?

If you prefer a little "dark psychic forces" battling in your candidates, you'll love Marianne Williamson's "Turn Love Into a Political Force" rally sign…


"Turn Love Into a Political Force" would be an even better title for a Marianne Williamson album of 80s cover songs. And if you think I'm joking, then you haven't heard Bernie Sanders' classic 1987 folk album, We Shall Overcome. That's not a joke. Well, it is a joke, but it's also a very real thing.

Now, just a quick pause to consider the peculiar baby-wear that way too many candidates are selling…

…including Elizabeth Warren's trans-pride flag onesie. Let me get this straight – we can't force any gender on a child, because that's just cruel. But we can force a political advertisement on a baby? How do we know that baby is actually a Biden or Warren fan? The child may not even be a Democrat or a Socialist at all. That baby might self-identify as a Libertarian, or Republican, or even worse – a moderate Democrat.

Now to the premium items from the premium candidates. Elizabeth Warren – the candidate with the most honesty in her advertising…




Warren's merchandise reflects the woman herself – cold and humorless (watch her "This isn't funny" clip from the last debate here at the 4:27 mark). I'm sure she's really fun once you get to know her. Then again, maybe not.

Speaking of serious women, Kamala Harris wants to be president very badly for you, the people, as you can tell from her "For the People" poster…


At $29.99 though, she's sure not charging "people's" prices. Of course, she might be having to pay royalties to a certain someone for riffing on their poster. Just saying.

For the race's number one socialist, there's a whole lot of capitalism going on in Bernie Sanders' campaign. He sells so many delightful items that it's hard to choose. But we did anyway. The most random item is this hundred-dollar, black, "Art of a Political Revolution – Artists for Bernie Sanders Coaches Jacket"…


Coaches across the land will be clamoring for this one. You know, since coaches are such a strong Bernie-socialist demographic.

If that's a little over your budget you might consider a "Feel the Bern" fanny pack, to help store all those government freebies you'll get from Bernie…


This is the only context in which you'll ever want to hear "feel the burn" and "fanny" in the same sentence.

And finally, from front-runner Joe Biden, we have this fine "Women's Fitted Biden Polo." Which is just about the best polo description ever…


It promises the kind of snug approach that Biden loves to provide women. Even when they don't ask.

This was one of the first homesteads in the area in the 1880's and was just begging to be brought back to its original glory — with a touch of modern. When we first purchased the property, it was full of old stuff without any running water, central heat or AC, so needless to say, we had a huge project ahead of us. It took some vision and a whole lot of trust, but the mess we started with seven years ago is now a place we hope the original owners would be proud of.

To restore something like this is really does take a village. It doesn't take much money to make it cozy inside, if like me you are willing to take time and gather things here and there from thrift shops and little antique shops in the middle of nowhere.

But finding the right craftsman is a different story.

Matt Jensen and his assistant Rob did this entire job from sketches I made. Because he built this in his off hours it took just over a year, but so worth the wait. It wasn't easy as it was 18"out of square. He had to build around that as the entire thing we felt would collapse. Matt just reinforced the structure and we love its imperfections.

Here are a few pictures of the process and the transformation from where we started to where we are now:

​How it was

It doesn't look like much yet, but just you wait and see!

By request a photo tour of the restored cabin. I start doing the interior design in earnest tomorrow after the show, but all of the construction guys are now done. So I mopped the floors, washed the sheets, some friends helped by washing the windows. And now the unofficial / official tour.

The Property

The views are absolutely stunning and completely peaceful.