Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Other businesses not worried about Walmart pay boost

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BATON ROUGE - Businesses in the Baton Rouge area said they didn't feel pressured by the decision from the world's largest retailer to raise pay for its lowest-paid workers.

Walmart said they will raise their lowest-paid positions to $10 an hour in order to attract and retain more workers. The raise will bump to $9 in April before moving to $10 an hour later.

Mitch Mayes, the owner of the Louisiana Nursery Home and Garden Showplace, said finding reliable workers when it's needed is definitely a challenge.

"For us it's just not a huge factor," said Mayes. "I think for other businesses it is a factor, but you know Walmart's going to do what they want to do."

He said business is great in the local economy, but keeping the right people is a problem even major corporations are facing.

"I think it's a question of how many people at that entry level position want to work there, so I think they're raising the bar to try to draw people, said Mayes. "I think they're struggling to get a reasonable pull of employees to start their locations."

However, some locally-owned supermarkets like BetR say higher pays at these major corporations could possibly affect their staff numbers down the line. Some stores say as an independent-run grocery store they can only increase wages to a certain amount, and some have even lost workers due to Walmart just opening in certain areas.

The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour.



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