New minimum wage forces Scott Co. store to cut workers' time

New minimum wage forces Scott Co. store to cut workers' time

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"If we don't cut hours, it could add as much as $400 to $500 per week to the pay roll," owner Bruce Posey explains. "If we don't cut hours, it could add as much as $400 to $500 per week to the pay roll," owner Bruce Posey explains.
"I have a lot of friends that don't have jobs and are looking for some," Brittany Boshears says. "I have a lot of friends that don't have jobs and are looking for some," Brittany Boshears says.

By KRISTYN CADDELL
6 News Reporter 

HUNTSVILLE (WATE) -- The federal minimum wage has gone up to $7.25 an hour and in a county that already has Tennessee's highest unemployment rate, a grocery store has to make some changes.

Scenic Foods sits just off of Highway 63 in Scott County. It's the kind of store where you can get a little bit of everything, including a down home feel.

But owner Bruce Posey isn't exactly happy about the 70 cent minimum wage increase. "It is hard on a small business to absorb this."

Starting Monday, the 12 part time employees making minimum wage will have their hours cut.

"If we don't cut hours, it could add as much as $400 to $500 per week to the pay roll," Posey explains.

The store, which has been a fixture in the community for years, prides itself on low prices.

Posey says it's essential for the survival of the business that prices stay low because of nearby chain grocery stores.

Scenic Foods also plans to use salaried employees, like management, more often and employees on minimum wage are being cross- trained to increase productivity.

Brittany Boshears is one of the employees cross-training in the deli.

She considers herself one of the lucky ones to have a job in Scott County, even though she doesn't think the extra 70 cents will do much on her paycheck.

"I have a lot of friends that don't have jobs and are looking for some," Boshears says.

Posey says the minimum wage increase doesn't make much sense and he won't be hiring indefinitely, thanks to it.  

Scenic Foods hasn't been able to increase its staff for two years, only replacing employees.    

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