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      $9 minimum wage could cause higher prices

      President Obama is pushing legislation that would raise the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour, which would mean a jump of $1.65 an hour in Missouri.

      While most minimum wage employees are excited about the proposed federal increase to $9, small business owners like Elly Bethune said the increase would force them to make some unwanted changes. Bethune, who owns Columbiaâ??s â??Ellyâ??s Coutureâ?? clothing store, said small business owners across the country would likely replace some workers with more technology and machines. She said she believes small business owners would have to raise their prices to stay in business.

      â??You donâ??t want to do that," Bethune said. "You donâ??t want to mark up things too much. I really like our prices where they are. I think everything is really affordable. I really donâ??t want to have to do that.â??

      President Obama said a full-time worker making minimum wage makes less than $15,000 a year. He said that's not a livable wage for someone supporting a family. Most of Bethuneâ??s minimum wage employees are college students.

      â??Your overhead would be a lot higher with a $9.00 per hour minimum wage," Bethune said. "Maybe weâ??ll be there someday. I just donâ??t know if Columbia is ready for that quite yet.â??

      President Obama wants to see a federal $9 an hour minimum wage at the beginning of 2015.

      If that happens, the increase would affect more than 15 million American workers.

      The federal minimum wage has stayed at $7.75 during the past four years.