GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) - In last night's State of the Union address, President Obama drew mixed reviews when he suggested increasing minimum wage to $9.00 an hour.
Currently it is $7.25, amounting to a salary of $14,500 a year.
"Absolutely that would affect me. I feel that it would have the exact opposite effect he spoke about earlier, to help small businesses" Says Tom Matuszak, a local convenience store owner.
He says a plan to raise the minimum wage to $9.00 by 2015 is a step in the wrong direction.
"In the long term I can't absorb it and I would have to charge more for my products" he explains.
Matuszak pays above minimum wage, but worries about how he would compensate current employees.
"A guy coming in who I have to pay 9 bucks an hour and I have got a person working for me for two years earning 9 bucks and hour, now do I have to give that person a raise" he wonders.
Brad Bain who owns a local cleaning service also pays his crews above minimum wage but he is not a fan of the president's plan.
"It is frustrating. "I think less government involvement in our lives is always better. I think let the free market take its course" Bain says.
Currently only 173,000 workers nationwide fall at or below the federal minimum wage.
That number would climb dramatically if the baseline was raised to $9.00 an hour.
"Minimum wage is one thing, actually being able to have the basic things that you need is another" says Jim Golembeski with Bay Area Workforce Development.
He does not think the plan goes far enough to help the working poor.
"I tell people you need to plan to get to $15 an hour, so that is twice the minimum wage" Golembeski says.
President Obama also suggested that minimum wage should be tied to the cost of living.
He hopes to gain bipartisan support saying it is something both he and Mitt Romney agreed on during the campaign.
Since the last time congress raised the minimum wage, 19 states have voluntarily chosen to bump theirs even higher.
Wisconsin is not one of those states.