By David Madden

TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) – With the New Year comes a new, higher minimum wage in New Jersey, and businesses forced to pay the higher salary are expressing concerns about what it might do to their bottom line.

Proponents who got voters to approve the ballot question last month called it “a matter of economic fairness.” But to the New Jersey Business and Industry Association, the move from $7.25 to $8.25 an hour will adversely affect the bottom line for a lot of small shops on main streets across the state.

Philip Kirschner (Credit: NJBIA)

Philip Kirschner (Credit: NJBIA)

“It’s a 14% increase for a lot of their employees and they’re not making 14% more in revenue to pay for it,” Association President Philip Kirschner said.

And it comes as customer traffic slows down for the winter months. Pair that with the continued unpredictability of Obamacare, and Kirschner sees some changes coming — and they won’t be good.

Kirschner expects many businesses will cut worker hours which will, in the end, reduce or eliminate any benefit from a higher minimum wage.

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