TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) -- It could become a reality for the nation later this year, as President Barack Obama declared during his State of the Union Address a desire to raise the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour.
Will it do more harm than good, though?
"Well, it's definitely going to affect how much part-time help I have," business owner Barbara Fleishhacker said. "It'll probably affect a lot of the younger kids that I hire, because I won't be able to have as many teenagers working for me."
Fleishhacker, who owns The Main Attraction in downtown Tupelo, said she can understand how that wage increase could mean future price hikes.
Still, she supports it.
"If the increase happens for the minimum wage, things will go up, so it may be a wash," Fleishhacker said. "At the same time, at least the people getting the $9 an hour have the choice to say, 'I want to buy that' or 'I don't.' And they're still getting the $9. They can make a decision based on that."
Not all business owners are for it. Many, like Houston native Glenn Knox, say $9 is too high.
"You have to keep your services and you have to keep your sales -- whatever they are -- in between," Knox said. "I think you have to keep it between the $9 and the $7.25 because the cost of living is going up, but it's gonna hurt small businesses tremendously."
"I know personally there's a lot of people who need a boost of income," Guntown resident Nikki Williams said. "The economy is down now and that would definitely generate more sales and more people to be able to advance and buy things that they need."
Some have even speculated the change to $9 an hour would increase food prices as much as 30 percent.
Now the fate of the federal minimum wage rests in the hands of lawmakers in Washington.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, if minimum wage was adjusted for inflation since the 1960s, it would be $10.56 today.