- by Anne Finlay-Stewart, Editor

Just before the new year brought its changes to the minimum wage and other costs of doing business, someone posted a sign reporting to be from the management of a Simcoe-area location of a huge multi-national pizza chain.  It reflected some of the sentiments of a notice in a local Owen Sound restaurant about price increases, which the owners referred to as a "political statement".littlecaesars

The comments on social media flew thick and fast, some in agreement with the management and some critical. Much of the commentary was "yes..but" - in support of fair wages, but raising questions.

What will these changes do to prices? Will all gains for employees be offset by increased prices of necessary goods and services? What about small businesses that cannot absorb the raise in the minimum wage? Will hours be cut and jobs be lost?

Time will tell, and without doubt politicians of all stripes will be using anecdotes to support their platforms and philosophies. Well-funded third parties, including the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and the Keep Ontario Working Coalition on one side and the Ontario Federation of Labour and the Fight for $15 and Fairness campaign on the other, will buy lots of advertising to support their positions in the lead-up to the provincial election in June.

Many local people have pledged to support small local businesses who may find the changes a struggle. While WalMart and Galen Weston continue to make their case, local businesses must make theirs, and customers must make their own spending choices. 

We invite you to talk to the owners where you buy your coffee, get your hair cut or have your car repaired. Ask about their experience and plans - not so much about their opinions. Learn how the choices you make in spending your hard-earned dollars might affect your neighbours and your community.

2018 is going to be a double election year and your voice, your vote and your choices matter.





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