Monticello business owner says wage increases could be passed onto customers


MONTICELLO, Ill. (WCIA) — Come January 1, businesses in the area will have to increase the minimum wage to $12 an hour, which is apart of a statewide five-step plan to increase minimum wage to $15 by 2025.  

With supply chain issues and shipping delays, the costs to run small businesses have increased dramatically. This will be another cost they have to eat, which could end up on the customers.

“This is just one more thing unfortunately our small businesses are going to face,” said Shelly Crawford-Stock, executive director of Monticello’s Chamber of Commerce.  

But is it going to be helpful? Brandon Taylor, the new owner of 3 Raven’s restaurant in Monticello, is not sure.

“The kitchen staff is where it’s really hard to maintain retention, because they rely on that hourly rate,” Taylor said.

Crawford-Stock says local businesses are already having a hard time hiring employees as it is and thinks a dollar increase won’t do much.

“I do not believe that that’s going to make the difference between a choice to work or not work,” Crawford-Stock said.

So how will this impact small businesses? Well, Taylor says the increased wages may be passed onto customers.

“There is no other way for a small business to operate and survive unless that buck is passed off onto the consumer,” Taylor said.  

He says it’s the last thing small businesses want to do, but it might be imperative to operate since operating costs have increased so much.

“I mean you just get a list; you just get a list of the items we stocked and everything’s kind of one up across the board,” Taylor said.

Before 2020, the last time Illinois raised its minimum wage was in 2010 when it was raised to $8.25 an hour. In Chicago, the minimum wage is already $15 an hour for businesses that have 21 or more workers.  

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