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  • Hannah Sabourin

Minimum wage bumped $0.75

Minimum wage workers in the Hills will get a small boost in their paychecks this week, but some small businesses and advocacy groups worry about how the increase will affect them.

Starting May 1, minimum wage employees earned $14.25 per hour, up from $13.50. Servers and bartenders now make $11.40 per hour, as the government also increased the tipped minimum wage by $0.60.

Wakefield General Store director Julie Arsenault said that although she had planned for this annual wage increase, it’s still a tough cost to swallow for a small business in the Hills.

“I think it’s a difficult time to do business,” said Arsenault. “The goods that we purchase – all of those costs have gone up. So, those costs get carried onto the consumer, who may decide to buy less or make different choices. For example, meat is very expensive. So, people may choose to buy less meat and more vegetables,” she continued.

Inflation and the ongoing worker shortage has impacted small businesses across the province, and the general store is not immune, said Arsenault.