To the editor — The effects of the increases in the minimum wage on small business are, according to most studies, inconclusive. In my industry, suppliers have raised costs due to both market demand and labor costs. As an owner-operated small business, I've cut prices to consumers, bringing in business. Sure, not every business owner can absorb rising costs.

Our Yakima workforce typically lacks job skills and education; many server and retail jobs are filled by women. I supported the raise in minimum wage and new overtime rules.

Small business is an opportunity for success for women (like me), immigrants, and those of us who don't fit the corporate mold. I work hard, alongside my staff, trying to teach them professional skills.

However, there's only one of me. I'm getting older. I can't physically cover for two months for an employee any more. My hope is that the Legislature will create more carve-outs for small business this session. We work hard. We are job creators for people who just want a chance at a decent living. I for one don't want to have to close down, but at some point, we as small-business owners have to ask, can we keep going?

LIZ HALLOCK

Yakima