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Wage raise to have minimal effect on students

Despite a 30-cent raise in the Ohio minimum wage set for 2012, area workers and Uptown businesses are anticipating a minimal amount of change from the increase.

Every year, the Ohio Department of Commerce evaluates the minimum wage based on the rate of inflation to match the value of the dollar. This past year, the department decided to increase the amount from $7.40 to $7.70 for employees over 16 years of age.

The rate for employees under 16 will remain at $7.25, and tipped employees will earn 10 cents more at $3.85 per hour, with all of the 2012 changes becoming effective Jan. 1.

Though businesses such as Brenen’s Coffee Café, 38 S. Court St., are planning ahead to adjust to the planned increase, co-owner Josh Thomas said the business’ bottom line will most likely follow a steady course.

“We won’t make any cuts,” Thomas said, adding that with the continuous circle of inflation there will be more money available to spend on coffee and food for the restaurant.

For other Uptown businesses such as Bagel Street Deli, 27 N. Court St., the change will have even less of an effect.

The bagel sandwich shop currently employs 21 students, each of which already earns 25 cents above the current minimum wage, said manager Lori Linnevers.

Though students working to help pay their own way in terms of tuition or living expenses will appreciate the increase, they’re not the only demographic anticipating the change.

Rob Razzante, an employee at the Central Food Facility, helps prepare food used and served at Ohio University.

Razzante works a few days each week with the facility preparing vegetables and said he looks forward to the increase in his paycheck.

“The few dollars more I will make will help me buy small things like shampoo and soap,” he said.

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