Political ad features GJ Chamber opposing minimum wage raise

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO)-- In a political advertisement paid for by the organization Keep Colorado Local, Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce President Diane Schwenke represents rural Colorado in publicly opposing Amendment 70.

“[We’re giving] another perspective, one from across the mountain, in terms of how this is going to potentially hurt us,” said Diane Schwenke.

The amendment is designed to increase the minimum wage in Colorado.

"It’s a one size fits all, and we really know that in the Denver Metro Area and up and down the I-25 corridor things are going great, but here on the Western Slope it's not so great," said Schwenke.

If passed, the minimum wage will gradually increase from $8.31 to $12 dollars an hour by 2020.

The chamber believes this increase will hurt small businesses, but some residents feel this is a needed change.

"What I make an hour, I barely can make it, and I make a lot more than minimum wage," said Grand Junction resident Rosa Parsons.

Some residents are worried about the potential consequences.

"Everybody across the board is going to raise their prices. Right now you may pay $5 for a hamburger, but if $12 comes around, you may be paying $7 or $8 for a hamburger," said restaurant owner Jim Gonzales.

Schwenke believes small business employers should have more control over their worker's wages, not the state capital.

"We're not opposed to a minimum wage increase, it’s just that we already have one and we need to be a little bit more strategic in how we apply it,” said Schwenke.



 
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