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Las Vegas reacts to Biden’s $15 minimum wage proposal

Posted at 8:24 PM, Jan 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-15 23:28:27-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Thousands of Nevadans could see a bigger paycheck if President-elect Joe Biden's push to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour becomes a reality, but some business owners fear it could take a huge bite from their bottom line.

Biden proposed the increase as part of his $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief stimulus package.

"No one working 40 hours a week should still be below the poverty line,” said Biden.

RELATED: Biden unveils $1.9T plan to 'beat' the coronavirus and steady economy

13 Action News asked several Las Vegans their thoughts on the matter.

“We need to support those people who are working," said Bridget Chua-Hackett. "[Those] who are hardworking people.

"I actually think that $15 may not be enough if they have families," she added. "So I’m in support of that."

“Definitely here in Las Vegas it will have a huge impact," said Kevin Lay. "Maybe it is a good thing, maybe it is a bad thing. I’m not sure.“

"Sounds like a good thing," said Teresa Conde. "It will help a lot of people who aren't making that to provide a living to their families. But at the same time, I think it could be a con.“

Her husband, Luis, is a project manager. He says money is not the issue, but rather finding people who want to work, and possibly turning down higher unemployment benefits.

"I offer $15, 18 an hour," said Luis Conde. "I got ads on Facebook, different pages, and people don't call."

"They just want to live off the welfare sometimes," he speculated.

Some small business owners and contractors believe a hike in the minimum wage will bring more pain than gain for them.

Todd Clore owns “Todd’s Unique Dining” and says there are a lot of questions about how this will be implemented, especially when Nevada already approved a minimum wage increase to $11 by 2024.

Also, the current pandemic doesn’t help either.

"Post-pandemic? Yeah, I don't see it happening without losing another big chunk of restaurants and small businesses," he said.

"But pre-pandemic it would have been a definite challenge," he added.

Biden is expected to present this federal minimum wage proposal and the rest of his plan to Congress next month.