Craig businesses react to minimum wage increase |

Craig businesses react to minimum wage increase

Patrick Kelly

Colorado voters have elected to raise the state’s minimum wage, in steps, from to $8.31 an hour to $12 by 2020 and local businesses have varying reactions.

Amendment 70 dictates that Colorado’s minimum wage will go up to $9.30 in 2017 and will increase each year until the $12 mark is hit.

For Jauneth Madsen, co-owner of Thunder Run Survival and Security in Craig, the measure is likely to prevent her from potentially hiring an additional employee.

“We had considered hiring employees and because of that, we now may not,” she said.

Madsen said subcontracting help for her security service is a more viable business option.

“I would rather subcontract and have people pay their own taxes than for me to cut a wage like that,” she said.

By subcontracting, Madsen said she could maintain reasonable rates for her customers and refrain from putting a burden on her business.

“It would make our security rates so outrageous that we wouldn’t want to pass it on to our clients,” she said.

As a business owner, Madsen’s primary concern is the success of her operation and the passing of Amendment 70 presents a bit of a conundrum, she said.

“Unfortunately, that puts me in position where it’s hard to look out for the employee,” she said.

Brett Etzler, owner of the restaurant Carelli’s, said he was concerned about the initiative at first, but he thinks it will work out with minimal impact.

“It made me cringe at first,” he said.

As he thought about it, his reaction eased up.

“All of our employees right now are making more than the $9.30 an hour,” he said. “At this point it really won’t affect us at all.”

Etzler said as the minimum wage approaches $12 an hour, it might be a different story and it is likely the result will be higher menu prices.

“We’re going to have offset those pay increases with the menu prices,” he said. “That’s what going to have to happen, I’m thinking.”

As reported by The Denver Post, Amendment 70 received about 55 percent of counted votes, or 965,485 ballots.

Contact Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or Contact Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or or follow him on Twitter @M_PKelly.Contact Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or or follow him on Twitter @M_PKelly.

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