As a small business owner Connecticut is a difficult and expensive place to do business; it is fraught with red tape, taxes and fees. BailCo Bail Bonds faces particularly difficult challenges due to the judicial and bail reform efforts in Connecticut. Now we will have to cope with additional taxes and the minimum wage increase. While we do not usually employ minimum wage staff, it has happened on occasion, such as in the case of a criminal justice student looking for part-time work. This was a good opportunity for them to work in the CJ field while attending college. As inexperienced labor goes, their usefulness is limited but inexpensive so it does not hurt to employ them in a limited capacity.
The $15 an hour wage is a 33% increase in pay. This will likely mean we will not be able to employ students in the future– not to mention all of the increased costs in unemployment and workman’s comp insurance. Furthermore, our current employees would certainly expect a similar increase in wage.
This ripple effect will result in an increased cost to the consumer, or less employees and more product expected from the existing ones. The former of these two outcomes is an issue in particular for the bail industry, which has not had a rate increase since the early 90’s and is dealing with a smaller market. This will certainly end up as an expense to the consumer. However, the industry could also become more digital, reducing the need for many of the individual agents. Technology exists today where the concept of providing e-bonds is not an impossibility.
I also think this will give incentive for businesses like mine to use “independent contractors” as a way to avoid all of these burdens. I’m sure many other small service oriented businesses will follow suit.