State Representative Tony D’Amelio (R-71) today testified in front of the Labor Committee saying it’s the wrong time to raise the state’s minimum wage and put more mandates on Connecticut’s businesses.

“While I appreciate the intent of this bill I do not believe now is the right time to add even more regulations and mandates on our businesses,” Rep. D’Amelio said.  “Connecticut businesses, especially the small businesses who can least afford it, are already struggling to survive and placing one more burden on how they operate will cause them to reduce costs further and that means letting people go.”

According to the Secretary of State’s office, more than 12,000 Connecticut businesses closed their doors in 2011 alone.   During testimony Rep. D’Amelio referenced his own restaurant business and said this past year was one of the most difficult he’s experienced in almost thirty years.

“A business owner only has so much revenue coming in and forcing him to spend more on minimum wage means he must cut costs somewhere else,” Rep. D’Amelio said.  “Unfortunately, many small businesses will reduce staff in order to survive.  Energy and material costs keep going up and business owners can only control the cost of labor.”

Connecticut currently has the fourth highest minimum wage in the country and 65% of businesses in CT say that the cost of doing business is the greatest challenge that they face. Increasing the minimum wage increases the cost of doing business.   Raising the minimum wage also reduces the availability of entry-level jobs which provide on-the-job training and experience and higher minimum wages saw off the bottom rung of many workers’ career ladders.