Minimum wage increase may stymie small business

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Small businesses across upstate are cutting hours, reducing staff and taking other measures to cope with the costs of a higher minimum wage.
Andrew Thayer / Staff Video

A natural foods restaurant seems like an unlikely place for ground zero in the increasingly bitter battle over a rising state minimum wage.

Despite a common perception as a haven for progressive thought, a purveyor of homemade pesto sauces and other wholesome dishes is steamed by the minimum wage hike.

As Eliot Fiks and Stacey Gould, co-owners of Whole in the Wall Foods in Binghamton, examine their expenses and revenues, they have but one choice in the face of rising personnel costs: reduce hours, cutting a day from from their four-day-a-week schedule.

They’re not alone. Others across the state are telling stories of how they will be extra cautious in adding staff as the minimum wage has only just begun its slow creep upward. Not only will customers have one less day available to

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