By Becky Bosshart
When the federal minimum wage ratchets up to $7.25, which it will following legislation recently passed by the House, Cheryl Blomstrom believes entry-level jobs could vanish from the local market.
That means fewer employment opportunities for your hyper, hormone-driven teen, or fledgling new grad.
Nevada's minimum wage, which increased to $6.15 an hour following the November election, shadows the federal wage. When it reaches $7.25 an hour in about two years, the state wage will increase to $8.25. What's going to happen to all those small businesses that have to pack more into the payroll?
"They are going to have to adapt," said Blomstrom, 51, the new state director for the National Federation of Independent Business.
Some may not survive. Layoffs. On-the-job training could diminish. Consolidation. Or, like most things in a capitalist society, increased costs will be passed on to the customer. Added value to the small business' service or product could be what saves it. But that won't be for everybody. Blomstrom said the consumer may not be willing to suck up a franchise cheeseburger at triple the cost.
Perhaps this means we'll have more family meals around the table. Or, small business will adapt and give the consumer something they really want: a better product with better service.
Small business is quicker on its feet compared to the lumbering corporate giants. When we bemoan the fate of mom and pop shops we often forget that they have this advantage.
Blomstrom calls this the advantage of the niche market.
"Not every consumer can go to Wal-Mart and find exactly what they want."
While investigating the affects of a minimum wage increase in Carson City, I discovered that there aren't many businesses here that pay less than $6 an hour without tips. To be competitive they must pay more, business owners say.
Blomstrom, of Douglas County, subcontracted to the previous state director for the last two years before taking on the position this year. The federation has 3,000 members in Nevada. Her job will keep her lobbying at the Legislature, which starts next month.
She foresees legislators changing eminent domain statutes to more closely align with voters, who came out in support of private property ownership rights in the last election.
Todd Carney is the new assistant relationship officer at Nevada State Bank. Carney will assist clients with borrowing or other banking needs.
Carney is a 2006 graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno, and holds a dual degree in finance and economics. In 2005-2006, he served as president of the Financial Management Association chapter at UNR. In spring 2006, Carney led his UNR student team to a third place finish in The Business Strategy Game, a worldwide competition sponsored by McGraw-Hill Irwin in which student teams participate in a computer simulation of the strategic management market.
Carney served as trading operations specialist for Navellier & Associates, Inc. He holds National Association of Security Dealers designations for selling mutual funds and variable annuities and soliciting orders for securities.
Nevada State Bank, with assets exceeding $4 billion, is the fourth largest commercial bank in Nevada.
Chris and Carolyn Eichin and their Virginia City home will appear on the cable TV program "If Walls Could Talk" tonight at 11 p.m. on HGTV. The basis of the show is uncovering artifacts from a historic home that tell a story about the past.
The Eichins answered an ad in the local newspaper and were selected to be on the show.
Carolyn Eichin said they did it to promote Virginia City, not just their bed and breakfast. She said the city has a lot of history, and her home is just one example.
The episode will be repeated at 3 a.m. Monday, 7 p.m. Friday and 7 p.m. Feb. 2.
• Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1212.