Minimum wage increase may impact local businesses

Local News

PEORIA, Ill. — Starting Jan. 1, the minimum wage in Illinois is $9.25. It’s up one dollar from last year.

Illinois was one of many states to increase their minimum wage, and workers won’t have to wait long to see the next increase. On July 1, the wage will increase by 75 cents to an even $10 minimum wage.

Local business owners say the new minimum wage law may hurt them and their ability to hire.

“Prices are probably going to creep up, slowly, but they will as that goes on. It’s going to be 15 dollars an hour in a short period of time,” said Pat Sullivan, co-owner of Kelleher’s in downtown Peoria.

Kelleher’s has about 30 workers who either make tipped or minimum wages. With the new laws, Sullivan says won’t be able to train and hire as many workers who make minimum wage.

“We don’t want to lay anybody off. We’re a family-owned business. It’s become family around. So, we don’t want to eliminate anybody,” said Sullivan.

Sullivan also says the wages are geared towards people supporting families, not students.

“It’s going to be hard because it’s the apprenticeship program. You go to any job, these jobs are for college students, they’re for high school students, sort of an apprenticeship. We basically teach them, show up on time, and do your job, and you can’t just walk out when you feel like it,” said Sullivan.

After wages raise in July, they’ll increase every year by $1 until 2025.

By Jan. 1, 2025, the minimum wage will be $15 an hour. Tipped wages will be $9, which is 60 percent of minimum wage.

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