PHOENIX, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - Part of President Joe Biden's new plan for the coronavirus relief package is to raise the minimum raise to $15 an hour. Some small businesses argue this will make their shops go under, but one company in Phoenix is already doing it voluntarily.

"It's awesome," said Clarissa Belmontes, who works at Xanadu Coffee Co. She makes $15 an hour.

"You have to invest in your employees," said co-owner Randy Denton. "You can't just leave your employees out to dry." The pay increase comes from an increase in price.

"We just put an extra 50 cents charge per drink, and we are going to try to match that with sales," said Denton. They've also removed what most in the service industry rely on -- tips.

"We axed the tips, and then we tried to find a way to build in to what would be your tips which is more consistent and more dependable," said Denton.

President Joe Biden wants to see a $15 minimum wage in the next coronavirus relief package.

"That's a pretty big leap," said Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry Interim CEO Garrick Taylor. Taylor said he has no issue with a business voluntarily paying employees more but finds problems with a government mandate that would force small businesses to pay people more money.

"They can raise their prices, cut their current employee's hours, or they can simply slow hiring. If you're on the outside of the labor market, especially in a wobbling economy due to the pandemic, that might cause concern because it makes it that much more expensive for you to get back into the labor force," said Taylor.

Meanwhile, at Xanadu, Denton is already thinking about boosting pay in the near future. "At least 17, 18 bucks an hour," said Denton.

 

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