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Greenville restaurant owner shares thoughts on raising minimum wage

A Greenville restaurateur shared his thoughts on the impact of a $15 federal minimum wage in a testimony before the Senate Thursday.

Carl Sobocinski, president and founder of Table 301 Restaurant Group in Greenville testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on the Budget Thursday morning as part of a collective of those speaking against the Biden administration’s proposed “Raise the Wage” act that would increase the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025. 

If enacted at the end of March, the Raise the Wage Act of 2021, which was introduced Jan. 26, would incrementally raise the federal minimum wage each year until reaching $15 in 2025.

The current federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour was set in 2009.

Sobocinski iterated his support for raising the minimum wage, but not in the proposed manner, which he said would lead to huge cost increases for small businesses, and result in fewer jobs. 

“I am not opposing a minimum wage increase, I’m looking for a common sense approach to this,” Sobocinski told the committee. “It is not a one size fits all solution. Fifteen dollars an hour in New York, San Francisco, Washington DC, is not the same as $15 an hour in Greenville, South Carolina.”

Carl Sobocinski, founder of Table 301, at Soby's Wednesday, Sept 4, 2019.

Sobocinski iterated his company pays $10 an hour starting salary to employees. An increase to $15 would increase his payroll by 33%, causing a ripple effect of added cost.

“So a $100,000 payroll and add $33,000 to that, increase employer taxes and premiums on workers comp policies and contributions to 401k,” Sobocinski said. “You’ll have businesses closing faster than we have during the pandemic.”

Read More: Greenville restaurant owner shares thoughts on raising minimum wage

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